Research released in September 2014 from the American Society for Microbiology reveals just how rapidly germs and viruses spread. You may be practicing good hygiene; however your colleagues could be putting you in danger spreading germs on to everyday office objects. The study from the ASM points out to the fact that germs spread within a matter of 2 to 4 hours. Samples from a doorknob, table-top, computer equipment and phone reveal that 40 to 60 percent of those who had been in contact with these items had picked up the germs in a matter of 2 to 4 hours. The researchers took samples from all the surfaces tested in the study and found between 60 to 100 fomites. Such a high amount can harbour many harmful organisms.
The study used a replica germ similar to the norovirus called bacteriophage MS-2 (safe for humans) to simulate the spread of flu. The study covers a number of work places such as office buildings, hotels, and health care facilities. Following these alarming results, a prevention/intervention test had to be carried out.
Prevention phase – cleaning
During the intervention phase, cleaning was conducted using disinfectants (which contains quaternary ammonium compounds) and anti-bacterial solutions, often in the form of anti-bacterial wipes. These wipes were applied to the same surfaces and objects prior to the intervention. The following results concluded that there was a reduction of fomites by 80% and that the concentration of viruses had reduced by 99% or more.
The nature of the workplace means viruses such a norovirus and flu can spread rapidly and that cleaning/intervention can significantly reduce the risks of illness. Hence the importance of computer cleaning and the role it plays in protecting employees up and down the country.
Our tips and germs information:
Before and After Photos: Keyboard Cleaning
7 Common ways germs are spread
Before & After Photo: Telephone Cleaning
Infograph: How safe is your office or workplace?
Hand Sanitiser: Protecting Against Germs, Flu & Disease