’Tis the season for germs, and few things are worse than being sick at the start of a new semester. The most common bugs this season are the common cold, flu, and norovirus, all of which are spread through direct contact, contaminated surfaces, or inhaling the airborne virus. Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself and those around you. And always remember, if you are symptomatic, it’s best to reduce contact with other humans.
Wash your hands! This is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of any infectious disease. Always wash your hands carefully with soap and warm water, especially after the going to the bathroom and traveling (using a handrail on the RTD, for example), and before eating, preparing food, or handling food.
Use hand sanitizer. Alone it won’t kill norovirus, but it will protect you against other germs. Pack a pocket-sized tube in your bag, or leave one on your desk.
Choose wisely. At parties or group gatherings, avoid foods in bowls that are accessible by many hands and instead opt for items that are individually portioned. Use tongs (or a similar serving device) when possible. If you’re in charge of ordering the food, try to steer clear of anything in the bulk serving category.
Talk to your colleagues and classmates. Encourage your peers to clean individual/group work spaces on a daily basis. These include work surfaces, keyboards, desk phones, cell phones, writing instruments, computer mice, etc.
Try Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes. When dealing with norovirus, many over-the-counter disinfectant products don’t contain a high enough level of disinfectant to be effective. However, these products should still be used to knock out other germs. Norovirus is best mitigated with products containing hydrogen peroxide and/or bleach, such as Clorox Health Care’s Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes.