It’s autumn at last – and we’ve got woolly jumpers, hot drinks, falling leaves and roaring fires firmly back on our agenda. Unfortunately, something much less pleasant arrives alongside school terms and chilly weather: a virtual army of bugs, viruses and other nasties, ready to attack our bodies.
If you have children, chances are they’ve already spent a couple of days at home with a start-of-term bug. Children are especially prone to picking up cold-weather viruses, both because their immune systems are less robust than an adult’s, and because they often forget the simple hygienic practises that reduce the spread of infection.
But are they the only ones?
According to the microbiologist Professor Sally Bloomfield (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), the person you’re most likely to get infected by is yourself; after that, the other people in your home. Sneezing and coughing, using the toilet or handling a pet without washing your hands afterwards – particularly if you then handle food – are easy ways for germs to spread within families. A 2007 survey by the Hygiene Council found that up to two-thirds of Britons don’t always follow basic hygiene: an astonishing and worrying proportion, especially with the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in homes and hospitals. It’s also estimated that 40% of reported food-related outbreaks of infection in Europe occur in our own kitchens.
How do the microorganisms spread?
Partly by physical contact – but more often, by one person leaving bacteria on a surface, which is then touched by another. 40% of rhinoviruses (a common cold-causing virus) are infectious on hands for up to an hour…but viruses on non-porous surfaces, such as door handles and worktops, can last at least six hours, and sometimes more than a day. In 2014, a team from the University of Arizona placed a Norovirus substitute on a single office door handle, and found it had spread to light switches, table tops, coffee pot handles, taps, phones and computer equipment throughout the entire building, between two and eight hours later.
So what can we do to stay healthy this season?
As the NHS LiveWell website reminds us: ‘Healthcare workers now realise the home has a critical role in the fight against infectious diseases’. Personal hygiene is vital, of course, but so is the cleanliness of our home. Clean and hygienic surroundings will protect ourselves and our families, particularly those most vulnerable to infection.
However, between work, school and other commitments, we know that cleaning often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. That’s why our domestic cleaning serviceis one of our favourites: we feel it’s something that can really benefit ordinary families, in tangible and important ways.
Just think about it: we’ll take our usual thorough approach and deep-clean all those hard-to-reach areas you never get round to. Our trained Hygienists use only professional equipment, and are carefully assessed every time to make sure we’ve done the best possible job. You’ll be able to come home from a long day and not worry about how the house looks; instead, more time for family, commitments, and hobbies, while we maintain a consistent cleanliness that will make your life easier, healthier and more enjoyable.
You might think that you don’t deserve a cleaner – or perhaps that you can’t afford one. We believe that everyone deserves to live in a home they enjoy, regardless of their circumstances. And we offer cost savings to regular customers, so it’s always worth dropping us an email to see what we can do.
Let us help you stay virus-free this season– after all, who wants to spend autumn sniffling in bed, when there’s so much else to enjoy?