Study reveals disturbing data on how fast infectious germs can spread in a workplace.
One always wonders how any office can remain functional during the holiday season when the spread of disease is so rapid and unforgiving. In the workplace, the flu, cold and even stomach bugs seem to spread fast. A new study reveals just how fast it can happen.
Researches from the University of Arizona in Tucson studied the rate at which a single virus can spread within a busy environment. After using a strategically-placed, non-infectious tracer virus, the research group found that the contamination of a single doorknob or tabletop resulted in the rapid distribution of the virus throughout an office building, hotel and healthcare facility.
Viruses and Bacteria Work Overtime
In only two to four hours, the virus could be detected on 40 to 60% of workers and visitors as well as commonly touched objects. To determine the reach of the single virus, researchers sampled 60 to 100 fomites, or surfaces capable of carrying infectious organisms like desks, phones, computers and related equipment, light switches, coffee pot handles and various other inanimate objects.
“Within two to four hours, between 40 to 60% of the fomites sampled were contaminated with virus,” said Charles Gerba, the researcher who presented the study.
Data was revealed at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) hosted by the American Society for Microbiology.
Simple Hygiene Practices Go a Long Way
The results of this study show that viral and bacterial contamination of fomites in active facilities occurs rapidly. This doesn’t mean you should quarantine your workplace or live in a bubble. Researchers say that simple intervention and sanitary methods can significantly reduce exposure to infectious agents and other pathogens. The regular use of disinfectants with specific ingredients to kill or decrease the amount of infectious agents is recommended to maintain a sanitized workplace.
Protect Your Office
Protect your workplace and employees from the dangers of harmful pathogens this holiday season. At CCSI, we incorporate an array of cleaning and janitorial services to make sure your office space is clean and virus free. Call us at (956) 541-8134 for more information or to set up an appointment.