Ran across a good summary from Diversey on how to protect from the flu, in Building Services Management's e-newsletter.
"People already infected with influenza can transmit the disease to others starting a day before the infected person shows symptoms and continuing for approximately 7 days after they show symptoms. Influenza viruses are spread through droplets that carry the virus as a result of a cough or sneeze. The virus can live on surfaces for up to several days. A single sneeze can release 40,000 droplets, which can travel through the air and be inhaled or swallowed by others. Droplets can also settle on surfaces, where people can pick the virus up on their hands and by touching their mouth, nose, or eyes, become infected."
I particularly appreciate the stress placed in the above on the virus being able to live on surfaces for several days. Many janitorial firms stress restroom disinfection (or at least "cleaning"); somewhat fewer use effective procedures, and chemicals, to sanitize "touchpoints", the door jambs, light switches and phone hand sets that folks touch all day long. And an office full of people, some contagious, is a good place to get sick:
"If you get influenza, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to reduce the severity of your illness. Commonly touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, keyboards, phone, etc.) should be disinfected regularly or when visibly soiled." Comes close to taking the words out of my operations manual. We sanitize touchpoints always, but really stress them during flu season.
The summary also stresses Alpha HP, the hydrogen peroxide solution we use, together with microfiber wipes, on touchpoints, and Virex 256, our disinfectant of choice for restrooms and lunchrooms. Finally, to cover all bases, it repeats what Mom used to stress:
"Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, be physically active, manage stress, and drink plenty of fluids." Chicken soup, as well. And I like a good murder mystery.