What makes us get sick more often during the holiday season?
Many theories have been postulated and studied over the years and many factors are blamed for being virus enablers. Closer proximity of hosts (us) within closed spaces makes transmission easier due to the shared air we breathe while indoors and the common surfaces we touch as people share confined areas. Further, foods are presented and ingested in areas with higher germ populations due to the foregoing.
Other theories suggest that inactivity and depression generally increases with the cold and gloomy weather and this coupled with decreased exposure to the sun may tend to inhibit our immune systems.
We suspect that all of these factors and more contribute to the seasonal spike in illnesses. But, there are some commons sense actions that can help reduce your chances of being the next holiday (infection) host. The most effective way to reduce your risks of seasonal sickness is to wash your hands often, especially after shaking hands, touching surfaces in common areas such as handrails and countertops and especially before eating.
In the spirit of holiday cheer (and microbial fear) check out these funny new flu and handwashing posters meant to remind with mirth and good cheer.
Healthy holidays to all.
New Flu & Handwashing Posters
Image of flu close up by cdc.gov.
2018 – Another Anniversary?
Anniversaries. To celebrate or just to observe?
2018 is the fortieth anniversary of the incorporation of Brevis. Yeah!
2018 is the anniversary of the end of World War One.
Great Influenza Pandemic
But 2018 is also the one-hundredth anniversary of the Great Influenza Pandemic. And a dramatic start of a hundred years war that has no end in sight. World-wide this pandemic claimed somewhere between 20 and 100 million victims in 1918-1919. Pick your source to pick your number.
In previous essays we have shown how the flu predisposed us to World War II by disabling Woodrow Wilson during the writing of the Treaty of Versailles. We have also talked about the search by intrepid scientists for the original virus which took them to frozen corpses in Brevig Mission, Alaska. The virus may have been identified but that does not explain how the original epidemic starting in Fort Funston, Kansas was quite mild and then became much more virulent in subsequent outbreaks. One thing is clear: Army forts were crowded with new recruits who were destined for Europe. Crowding was ideal for spread of this virus.
The highly mutable virus appears to have a natural host in ducks and ducks seem happy to share with chickens and pigs. Of which multitudes reside in China. So we go to China to discover each year which strains are on the current hit parade so that we can develop effective flu vaccines. Maybe this is how China is demonstrating the importance of their trade with the US. Or is it just a free gift as a way of saying Thank You for all the other goodies we import from them?
Wash Your Hands
Regardless of all the ins and outs of influenza – and all other infectious diseases – the best we can come up with for prevention are proper hand hygiene and vaccination. As the decades roll by replete with outbreaks of new often more virulent strains of nasties the most effective strategy remains the same. Wash your hands. Wash them often. Wash them well.
Gordon Short, MD
13 November 2018
New Flu Posters
It’s October again and that means it’s International Infection Prevention Week again. With the fall colors also come dropping temperatures and increasing incidents of Colds, Flu and other illnesses. As temperatures drop we collectively spend more time indoors where germs can transfer from host to host more readily. Increased readiness can help with infection control and prevention which is always easier than recovery. Sanitize commonly touched objects and places often and remember to wash your hands frequently. Stay ahead of the germs and encourage prevention with robust emphasis. Brevis products help you lead the way with posters, mugs and of course GlitterBug® Hand-Washing and Hand-Sanitizing training aids.
Save 20% with code “IIPW”
Also to aid your budget and just in time for International Infection Prevention Week – for this week only receive 20% off all Brevis products . Just type IIPW in the promo code field in the shopping cart to receive your discount. Jump-start your IIPW program with fun colorful handwashing swag and don’t forget to re-stock your GlitterBug® supplies.
Sale ends at midnight Saturday Oct 6.
GlitterBug handwashing products
IIPW Games and Activities (apic.org)
Help Prevent Infections
Sometimes a patient develops an infection while being treated in the hospital or other medical facility. It could be an infection from germs that enter the body at a surgery site. It could be an infection that develops from germs carried on a piece of medical equipment. There are many possible causes.
Infections like these are called healthcare associated infections, or HAIs, and we take them very seriously.
The good news is that we can prevent… Download the full PDF from Apic.org
September is National Food Safety Month and because everybody eats, everybody should be reminded about the importance of safe food handling. Safe food handling is critical of course for those who prepare your food, but the food-consumer should be careful not to introduce microbial pests while eating. Proper hand-washing is the common denominator of effective infection prevention. To help you with your mission of promoting food-safety and infection prevention Brevis is holding a September Special.
- Foodborne illnesses cost the U.S. about $78 billion per year.
- Each year, approximately 1 in 6 Americans gets foodborne illness.
- Foodborne illnesses result in over 3,000 deaths each year.
- 68% of outbreaks occur at restaurants.
Sourced from CDC.gov
10% off all GlitterBug products
Just enter promo code “Educate” while checking out your shopping cart.
Clean hands, safe food, healthy people.
GlitterBug handwashing products
Food Safety (CDC.gov)
…Which Is Gross and You Should Fix It
Hey, did you wash your hands recently? Well, you probably did it wrong. CNN pointed out a recent government study found that 97 percent of the time, people fail to properly wash their hands—a problem that can lead to all sorts of unnecessary illnesses being spread.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, people are falling short of meeting the standards for acceptable handwashing set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bar to make sure your hands are sufficiently clean requires you to wash and scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds.
The study looked at 363 people in six kitchen test facilities located in the Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina and in the town of Smithfield, North Carolina. What it found was nearly every person working in the kitchens failed to reach the handwashing standard set by the CDC, which is probably not reassuring if you’re currently out to eat at a restaurant in Tar Heel State.
Read on Gizmodo
GlitterBug handwashing products
By AJ Dellinger / gizmodo.com
Certain events, actions or circumstances can make handwashing more important. For example, after being in public places, or handling often-touched objects like handrails and doorknobs, before preparing food, before eating and after using the rest-room. When possible it is best to avoid touching moist areas of your body such as eyes, nose and mouth unless you first wash your hands. Further, it is advisable to wash your hands after touching those areas. Germs most often travel by climbing aboard hands until they find a good opportunity to jump off into food we consume or directly into the portals of our bodies (mouth, nose and eyes etc.). Before helping these bugs find the greener pastures and making us sick send them down the drain.
GlitterBug handwashing products
Searching for the cause of an E Coli outbreak can send investigators in many different directions. This is a reminder that good hand hygiene practices and proper food preparation are of utmost importance. E Coli can be found in contaminated soil or water but it can also be spread through infected people. Germs that make us sick are everywhere and while we cannot always control where or how our food is grown we can control how we prepare it and make sure our hands are clean when doing so. Check out these links to the latest news on the Romain lettuce E Coli outbreak and the CDC which both reference person-to-person contact and the importance of hand washing.
Discount code ‘SUMMER’ good for 10% Off! extended to June 30
Africa is experiencing a sad case of deja vu as Ebola rears its ugly head again. A recent outbreak in Congo has health professionals on high alert. Make sure your team is prepared should the need arise for PPE protocols. This teaching set from Brevis includes GlitterBug Powder and the UVA LED SpotShooter8 Lamp. Apply a small amount of GlitterBug Powder to the PPE before doffing and then use the lamp to illuminate contamination.
Glitterbug PPE Training Set
Phew! We made it through the worst of the cold and flu season! With summer around the corner though, there is more waiting for us than just sunshine and snow cones. Playgrounds, water parks and amusement parks are full of fun, but also full of germs. Make sure to use good hand hygiene to make the most of your summertime adventures without taking home the wrong kind of souvenir. Check out Brevis.com for fun and creative reminders you can share with family and friends about the importance of keeping their hands clean this summer. Read more about summertime germ precautions.
Use the promo code SUMMER to save 10% off on all orders through May 31st, 2018.
The flu is making headlines again this year. It seems that the flu virus is widespread in at least 46 states already causing tremendous woe and suffering. As always proper hand hygiene and getting vaccinated should top your list of defense strategies. Remind yourself and those around you to wash hands frequently with strategically placed Flu Posters from Brevis.
Shop Flu Posters