Monday, December 30, 2019

2018 Flu Epidemic Changed How We Must Prepare for Flu Season. Here’s How You Can Be Better Prepared This Year.

The 2018 flu epidemic wasn’t just your average flu season- it was far worse than anyone could have predicted. It sent more people to the hospital than any other time in recent history. Unusually, it hit most of the country simultaneously and was fatal even to people without underlying medical conditions. It was truly an epidemic as opposed to your run-of-the-mill flu season.

The flu is one of the greatest public health challenges.

2018 Flu Epidemic Demonstrates that the Flu Shot Isn’t Enough.


The 2018 flu hit people with three different strains. Worst of all, the vaccine wasn’t as effective against the most predominant virus, as it was against the rest of them. You were certainly far better off having gotten the flu shot, than if you didn’t. But that shouldn’t stop people from questioning whether the flu shot is enough to prepare for the incoming flu season. Based on the evidence, it’s clearly not.

Three strains of the flu virus caused the 2018 Flu EpidemicDoctors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have emphasized the important role of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of the flu. This was relevant in the 2018 Flu Epidemic, just as it will be in upcoming flu seasons. But in 2020 we must also look at the technology that we are always connected to that can also play a role in spreading illnesses.


Different Technologies That Can Be Used to Help Prevent the Flu


Waterproof keyboards

Keyboards are already some of the grossest items you can possibly find in an office, containing more bacteria on average than even a toilet seat. During flu season, they become a completely different type of hazard. The flu is incredibly contagious and can be contracted by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus. It’s impossible to precisely pinpoint where people were exposed to the flu virus during the 2018 Flu Epidemic, but it’s certain that touching the same keyboard as a sick coworker or family member is a surefire way to spread the illness.

The solution to this is to make sure your keyboards are washable. In doing this, you can take an extra step ahead of everyone else in avoiding the flu. Seal Shield’s washable keyboards are just as usable and high-quality as any other on the market- they just come with the added ability to be washed. Some of my favorite keyboards are as follows:


This is one of Seal Shield’s most functional keyboards and great for high data entry. It comes with the very popular backlit feature, which is handy for typing at night. This one is a good keyboard for both business and personal use.


Cleanwipe™ Waterproof Keyboard

This unique keyboard is particularly popular with dentists due to its ergonomic size and its removable cover. The cover allows for quick cleaning with a disinfecting wipe in between patients but is also great for business use if you want to quickly clean the keyboard after someone else has used it. I personally use this keyboard at work largely because I love how it feels.


Seal Touch™ Waterproof Keyboard

This one is classified as an all-in-one keyboard. If you don’t wish to use a mouse, this is the one for you. It also doesn’t contain any cracks or crevices, which makes it very easy to clean.



Medical Mice

It is essential to treat hand hygiene as an all-encompassing routine as opposed to just little things you do here and there. You are likely touching your mouse just as often as your keyboard and are still vulnerable to picking up the flu if you aren’t washing both.

If you are sharing a workspace with a coworker who hasn’t washed their hands, they are going to be rubbing the same contaminants on the mouse that they are on your keyboard. One might even compare typing on your computer for several hours right after someone has used it with their dirty hands to shaking that person’s unwashed hands for several hours. I guess what you should take from this is that the only way to have an ideal workspace for flu season is to have a workspace that can be cleaned in its entirety- down to the mouse.

Similar to the keyboards, you do not have to sacrifice usability for washability. Seal Shield’s mice are just as functional as any other, but far more sanitary. Some of the best ones they have to offer are:

Silver Storm™ Waterproof Mouse

This is Seal Shield’s most popular mouse. It’s easy to use and has a good feel to it.



Silver Surf™ Waterproof Mouse

This is a variation of the classic mouse for those who prefer to click rather than scroll. It’s also quite popular.



Silver Storm™ Wireless Waterproof Mouse

If you are looking for a wireless mouse, this is perhaps the best option. It has all the usability of a classic mouse, but minus the cord. It has become very popular due to how ergonomic it is.




Seal Screen - Touchscreen Protector

Touchscreens have been perhaps the most increasingly used technology of the decade. They’re now being used in so many different types of businesses ranging from retail to airlines. Heck, even when I moved to Orlando recently the moving company used an iPad to account for all my belongings. They’re quite handy, but the problem is that they’re never being disinfected, which makes them particularly risky for flu season.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply implementing a disinfecting protocol for all touchscreen devices. In fact, the cleaning products required to properly disinfect a touchscreen can actually cause quite a bit of damage to the screen. Apple advises against using “window cleaners, household cleaners, compressed air, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide to clean an iPad.Microsoft and Samsung don’t offer much better options.

The best solution to this isn’t to damage your screen or to neglect people’s safety. There’s actually a much better solution called Seal Screen. It’s a custom screen protector than allows for the usage of harsh cleaning products that can effectively disinfect your devices. On top of that, it has impact strength to help avoid damaging the screen in the case of an accident as well as antimicrobial product protection. This is the type of weapon you want to have in your arsenal to prevent the spread of the flu. With lessons learned from the 2018 Flu Epidemic, this is one of the best ways to stay safe going forward.

The ability to properly disinfect touchscreens is key in preventing the next 2018 Flu Epidemic.

As you might surmise, cell phones are also a huge part of spreading infectious diseases. It’s almost impossible to discuss the cross-contamination caused by touchscreens without addressing the risks brought about by cell phones. Think about it, you might wash your hands every day, but once you touch your phone you just negated it. Phones are some of the dirtiest items that we touch, namely because they are also never disinfected.

In hospitals, as you can imagine, this is a big issue and organizations will often times order touchscreen protectors for all staff-issued mobile devices. However, infectious disease and especially the flu are not limited to hospitals. It’s important to be able to disinfect personal cell phones as well and fortunately, Seal Screen covers can also be made for smartphones as well as tablets and larger screens.

ElectroClave

Of course, large organizations may require a more advanced solution for disinfecting phones than an individual would. Today, there exists a new product that not only disinfects cell phones of 99.9999% of germs but also allows an organization to track its usage and ensure that employees are taking proper steps to ensure good hand hygiene, not only during flu season but year-round. It’s a UV disinfection box called the ElectroClave. The features on this device are endless and they allow for a smarter approach to maintaining good hand hygiene.

The groundbreaking ElectroClave device can disinfect mobile devices and improve hand hygiene.This device was originally developed for healthcare and was designed with input from members of top organizations such as Johns Hopkins and Yale New Haven. Its latest version was launched in November 2019 and while it wasn’t around during the 2018 Flu Epidemic, it can certainly help improve hand hygiene for subsequent flu seasons. It’s already started being implemented at many top organizations and has been highly regarded by those using it.

Cell phones as a point of cross-contamination pose a risk to various other industries such as agriculture, hospitality and even banking. The flu costs employers over $20 billion worth of productivity in a given year. The ROI of keeping employees healthy is apparent. A major risk for many businesses is one sick employee getting an entire staff sick. This isn’t uncommon and can easily happen through touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it. With 900,000 hospitalizations as a result of the 2018 Flu Epidemic, it certainly indiscriminately affects all industries. It’s almost 2020, and we have to rethink our approach to preventing the flu.

The 2018 Flu Epidemic Can Be the Last That You Go Through Without The Latest in Prevention Technology


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