GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is calling on the community to hit germs where they live.
Germs like to hide out in places and stay there for a while. For example, flu viruses live on some surfaces for about 24-hours.
The Norovirus, that causes a stomach ailment, can hang around for days or even weeks. Both of these germs are very contagious and therefore it is very important to clean surfaces of germs after illness.
CPS advises to clean first and then disinfect. Wiping down the kitchen counter and other surfaces with soapy water can get rid of some germs.
When the person has the flu or diarrhea and has been throwing up, you should use a disinfectant to clean surfaces in order to stop the spread of germs. You can mix a quarter-cup of chlorine bleach with a gallon of hot water.
Germs like to live in moist places and this makes your kitchen and bathroom a perfect hiding spot especially in a sponge. Try using a microfiber cloth instead for cleaning as it soaks up bacteria and other germs better.
Wear gloves, and wash your hands in order to prevent germs from hitching a ride on your hands while you clean. Using disposable gloves also protects your skin from harsh cleaning products. Always wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning surfaces after illness.
Use separate cleaning cloths/sponges when cleaning the kitchen and the bathrooms. If you use the same for both, you can transfer germs from one location to the next.
The bathroom when a person is ill has the most germs. This should be priority number one when it comes to cleaning. Make sure to disinfect the toilet lever, shower faucets, cabinet handles, doorknobs, and light switches.
When preparing food in the kitchen and you are sick, you should disinfect all the things you touch, like the refrigerator handle and inside drawers, coffeepot/kettle, faucets, stove knobs etc.
Pillowcases should be changed every day. Bed linens can remain on the bed unless the sheets get soiled. Don’t shake them out because that spreads germs. Disinfect night stands, bedposts and other surfaces. Other rooms in the home where the family spends time such as the living/dining rooms, all surfaces should be disinfected.
The aforementioned advice is to protect family health from germs and therefore you must take action and hit germs where they hang out after illness.