- The influenza season has started in Canada with increases in all influenza indicators observed this week.
- More regions reported sporadic or localized activity compared to the previous week.
- A total of 278 laboratory detections of influenza were reported, of which 97.8% were for influenza A viruses, predominantly A(H3N2).
- Eight influenza outbreaks were reported: one in a hospital, five in long-term care facilities and two in other settings.
- Seven paediatric influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported through the IMPACT network.
These are some recent stats from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Flu Watch. Yes, it’s flu season and if you’re like me, you are seeing sick people everywhere you go. Luckily, Dec. 5 – 8, 2012 is Handwashing Awareness Week. What a better way to brush up your handwashing skills and potentially avoid this year’s flu virus. Washing hands is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of germs. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time or don’t know how to properly clean their hands. Millions of dollars are lost each year by companies due to reduced productivity from sick employees. Eighty percent of diseases are spread by touch so germs are transmitted to others through contact with hands and surfaces touched by unclean hands. So a little education can go a long way.
Here is a quick reminder on how to properly wash your hands:
- Wet hands with warm water and soap.
- Rub your hands together and scrub all around including under the fingernails.
- Rub for a minimum of 15-20 seconds.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Dry hands on a clean towel.
- Turn the sink faucet off with a towel, not hands, to prevent re-contamination.
If you can’t get to a sink with soap make sure to use hand sanitizer.
Be sure to encourage proper handwashing both at home at your office. By frequently washing hands and keeping surfaces clean, we can all help maintain a healthy environment and hopefully avoid the dreaded flu this season.
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