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How Hand Hygiene Labels Reduce Flu Outbreaks

As recently reported by the CDC, “Seasonal flu activity in the United States has been elevated for eight weeks and continues to increase.” With nearly 4,000,000 cases already reported, the 2019-2020 flu season is on pace to exceed outbreaks reported over the last few years. In fact, 37 states report high virus activity forcing numerous hospitals to enact visitor restrictions in an attempt to prevent additional infections.

How Hand Hygiene And Flu Labels Reduce Outbreaks

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But regardless of the severity of any flu season, the top two prevention steps remain the same:

  1. Flu vaccines
  2. Hand hygiene

And even though flu season is nearing its midpoint, healthcare professionals still recommend flu shots for those who haven’t been vaccinated in the last year. In fact, in a release from St. Jude’s Hospital, Dr. Richard Webby, a flu scientist and a member of the Infectious Disease Department at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, says it is still not too late to get the shot. “The bottom line is the flu shot is still the most valuable and life-saving tool in preventing and spreading the flu, ” stated Dr. Webby.

Unfortunately, only about half of the population will choose to get vaccinated even though the benefits of the flu vaccine are well documented. But, by using priming and social influence you can impact behavior. Distributing a “Got Flu Shot - Did You?” label can increase the number of people who choose to get a vaccine. You can read more about the study here

Hand Hygiene Labels

UAL LabelsIn addition, if flu labels are peanut butter then hand hygiene labels are the jelly. They work together to increase infection prevention. 

“Generally speaking, common hygiene practices are effective,” said Dr. Nasir Husain, the infection prevention program director at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital. “Cover up your face if you sneeze, and so forth. The flu is very contagious, so washing hands can go a long way.”

Plus, be on guard in public restrooms and common workplace areas including lunchrooms, kitchenettes and meeting rooms. Regular cleaning of surfaces can be effective at eliminating germs that might be hiding on them. 

But just as a large percentage of the population doesn’t get a flu vaccine, many people fail to wash their hands or practice effective hand hygiene. Unfortunately, it’s not just the general public that fails to do so. Often, healthcare professionals are remiss. Although handwashing signs or a wash your hands poster can be effective, certain messages have a greater impact. In fact, authors Adam Grant and Daniel Pink both detailed steps that lead to improved compliance. You can read about their study here

One suggestion they offer is to use wash your hands signs and reminders that focus on keeping patients or coworkers safe. Because we are motivated to protect others, these types of reminders are more effective than those that just focus on the individual.

Hand Hygiene Instructions

Furthermore, providing instructions on how to effectively wash hands is another worthwhile endeavor. A study from Michigan State University found that only about 5% of people actually wash their hands properly. It’s useful to detail the appropriate steps

Infection Prevention Techniques For Airline Travel

Lastly, if your plans call for air travel there are additional actions you should take. In addition to the flu vaccine and hand hygiene steps, take extra precautions with tray tables, airplane lavatories and aisle seats, all of which are germ magnets. Here are additional safeguards you should consider. 

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Although it’s impossible to guarantee prevention, taking these steps will help make your workplace safer and your staff and visitors less likely to become a 2020 influenza statistic. United Ad Label supplies stock and custom flu labels and infection prevention products that help organizations reduce the spread of flu and other viruses. Contact us to learn more.

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