Prevention the Spread of Disease
Prevention the Spread of Disease is a top priority in our schools, vacation places, and work places. In the past few years some treacherous Staph bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics. Recently the news media focused on this serious new health problem, which is of urgent concern to our schools, workplace, and public restrooms. These killer bacteria, called methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus or “MRSA”, have recently caused concern for healthcare officials in schools in the USA. Some infected students have become gravely ill and some have died after these antibiotic resistant bacteria invaded their blood stream. Most Staph bacteria only causes minor skin infections and are treated with common antibiotics. Serious and lethal infections however, develop when antibiotic resistant bacteria (MRSA) is involved. The best methods for prevention of all types of Staph infections involve general cleaning strategies which can be incorporated into the routine cleaning practices at all schools, and public restrooms. Here are some tips for limiting the possibility of Staph bacteria infecting your students and staff:
- Set up a daily and routine environmental cleaning schedule for your school restrooms and dining areas. Inform your staff about regular hygiene. The cleaning staff should be trained to be sure they understand and practice thorough and effective cleaning procedures. Your local health department can provide advice on procedures.
- Use germicidal products or a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach and 9 part water to clean any surface that is subject to frequent touching by students, staff or the public, including light switches, doorknobs, faucet handles, hand rails and all restroom fixtures. Use soap and water at a minimum, if at all possible an all-purpose cleaner, for a daily cleaning of all other floors and surfaces.
- Equip the restrooms with automatic soap dispensers, automatic hand dryers and automatic paper towel dispensers. These touch-free automatic dispensers will reduce contact with appliances that are frequently the source of hand transmitted bacteria like Staph. If your school still utilizes the old manual hands-on dispensers it will be nearly impossible to clean them frequently enough to purge the spread of bacteria.
- Immediately sanitize any surface that has a visible body fluid contamination such as blood, urine or other body fluid.
- Making sure automatic soap dispensers and automatic paper towel dispensers are filled with product at all times will provide restroom visitor the opportunity to wash each time they are in the restroom. This should be part of the cleaning personnel's daily schedule.
- Encourage good hygiene by informing visitors against sharing water bottles and personal items. Encourage daily shows at school at at the gym
- Require that cuts, abrasions and lesions are covered with a proper dressing (bandage) until healed. Athletics staff should monitor this closely among their athletes.
- Clean all items used in athletic activities with an all-purpose cleaner and wash clothing and uniforms after every use.
- Publish, communicate, and post reminders to students, staff and employees the importance of frequent hand washing with soap and water or the use of germicidal hand gels. Your schools restrooms and cafeteria, and restaurant kitchens, should have warning signs posted in highly visible areas reminding everyone that hand washing is a requirement of your facility and is everyone’s responsibility.
Following these simple cleaning routines will significantly reduce the risk of bacterial infections of all types, including Staph and viruses, such as the flu, and the common cold. If your school, restaurant, or public restroom does not use automatic soap dispensers, automatic hand dryers or automatic paper tower dispensers, consider requesting that manual dispensers are replaced with automatic dispensers.