PARSIPPANY, N.J., Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With outbreaks of cold and flu on the rise across the U.S., Americans are facing a seemingly impossible task of helping their families stay healthy this winter. As of last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 47 states have declared the incidence of flu to be regional or widespread in their communities and nearly 10,000 cases of H1N1 have been documented. With this seasonal illness coming to a head, are Americans truly aware of – and doing – all the things they can to combat cold and flu? As part of its Mission for Health, LYSOL®, an RB brand, is committed to making sure the public is armed with the knowledge and tools to help keep themselves and their families healthy and safe.
"Keeping a family healthy can seem like a lofty goal during the peak of cold and flu season. What we have realized is that while people think they are doing what they can to prevent the spread of germs, they are missing some simple insider tips and tricks that can help keep them illness-free," said Gregory Chabidon, marketing director, LYSOL. "We are passionately dedicated to helping families understand all the ways they can prevent cold and flu and want to make staying healthy a reality for them by providing the necessary tools that will help them get through this cold and flu season."
Through its Mission for Health, LYSOL engages communities across the country to promote hygiene practices and instill healthy habits. Together with its healthcare professional and education partners, such as the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Lysol spreads healthy habits directly into schools and homes. These organizations champion healthy environments and teach lifelong healthy behaviors that help prevent infectious diseases, in an attempt to lessen the impact of the millions of school days missed by students each year in the United States.
One of the main education points focuses on surface disinfection. While Americans may understand that following the CDC's recommendation to routinely clean and disinfect commonly touched surface areas at home and at work can help prevent the transmission of cold and flu viruses, they may not know that not all cleaning products disinfect – which is the key to stopping illness in its tracks. LYSOL supports cold and flu prevention by offering a full range of effective products to help stop the spread of harmful germs, like LYSOL Disinfectant Spray and Disinfecting Wipes that kill bacteria and viruses on commonly touched surfaces. "Many people do not realize that cleaning is not synonymous with disinfecting and that they need to use disinfectant products to remove cold and flu viruses from hard surfaces," said Dr. Philip Tierno, microbiologist, immunologist, and member of The Global Hygiene Council. "Eighty percent of all infections are transmitted by direct and indirect contact, so by understanding how germs are transmitted and how that transmission can be interrupted, families have a much better chance of warding off the flu."
In addition to routinely cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surface areas, the CDC recommends the following effective tips to help families stay healthy during peak flu activity:
- Get vaccinated with a seasonal flu shot – the most important step in preventing cold and flu.
- Help prevent the spread of flu germs by practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette, staying away from sick people, and staying home if you get sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often, or use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to a sink.
Nevertheless, the reality is that the chance of coming in contact with cold and flu germs is quite likely during this time of year, but there are some insider tips and know-how that can minimize this risk and help families set themselves up for success, including:
- Taxis are the cleanest form of public transportation as compared to airplanes or rental cars which are the least clean.¹
- The first bathroom stall in public restrooms is usually the cleanest.²
- Bathroom taps harbour more germs than the toilet seat.³
- The kitchen sink contains 100,000x more germs than a bathroom or lavatory.³
- The TV remote is one of the top places to transmit infections in the home.³
- Light switches are some of the most frequently touched surfaces in the home.³
- Staying indoors – and thus, in close contact with other people's germs – encourages cold and flu transmission more than being out in the cold, as is commonly believed.4
- Stress taxes the immune system and can cause people to neglect sleep, healthy diet, and exercise, which ultimately makes them more vulnerable to getting sick.4
For further information on staying healthy during cold and flu season, please visit the following resources:
About Reckitt Benckiser
Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a global consumer goods leader in health, hygiene and home. With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 25 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Since 2000 net revenues have doubled and the market cap has quadrupled. Today, it is the global No. 1 or No. 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global powerbrands including Nurofen, StrepsilsGaviscon, Mucinex, Durex, Scholl, Lysol, Dettol, Clearasil, Veet, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Finish, Vanish, Woolite, Calgon, Airwick, and French's, and they account for 70 percent of net revenue.
RB people are at the heart of the company's success. They have an intense drive for action and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in CSR where the company is reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2020 and has a global partnership with Save the Children.
The company has operations in over 60 countries, with headquarters in the UK, Singapore, Dubai and Amsterdam, and sales in almost 200 countries. The company employs about 32,000 people worldwide.
For more information, visit www.rb.com
¹ABCNews.com, "GMA Germ Test Shows Some Public Seats Full of Bacteria"
²MensHealth.com, "14 Strange but True Health Tips"
³National Hygiene Council (NHC)
4MSN.com, "4 Secrets to Never Getting Sick"