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Page 24

FEATURE

Effective cleaning in schools and senior living facilities Words Dr Greg Whiteley

Keeping at risk members of society healthy.

24 INCLEAN NEW ZEALAND August 2020

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n my last article, I highlighted the connection between the contaminants on the floor and the superbug risks for patients in hospitals. In this article, you might wonder why we have joined schools and our seniors together. Well, there are two good reasons. First, both cleaning contexts involve people who are at an elevated risk of serious health complications from infectious diseases and common microbial pathogens, such as the influenza virus. Children are at risk because their immune systems are still developing. For this reason, they can be more vulnerable to serious complications with germs that would pose little threat to a normal adult. The older members of our communities, particularly the frail and infirm, often have many other existing health conditions. These other health difficulties can add up and leave the elderly with a lower immune response to fight off germs that in the past may have caused them no more than a passing cold or flu. This is also the case with the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic involving the SARS-

CoV-2 virus (the latest designated name for this novel coronavirus), particularly for the elderly, and especially when they are living in close proximity to each other. The second reason to link schools and senior care is cleaning. In both the school and senior living facilities, the standards of cleaning are often poor, and cleaning is conducted without meaningful quality control. The cleaning processes, when performed badly, will simply move the germs around rather than remove them altogether. The purpose of cleaning is “to remove germs and soils,� says industry expert Dr. Mike Berry, and where cleaning simply moves the germs from one place to another, this amounts to cleaning failure, and probably negligent conduct. The common feature in both schools and senior living facilities is the close proximity of people to each other. Also, there is the abundant frequency of commonly touched surfaces. So, if one person gets an infectious germ, then the closer proximity increases the likelihood of person to person spread, or person to surface to person spread.

Profile for The Intermedia Group

IncleanNZ August 2020  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...

IncleanNZ August 2020  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...