Right now, the Coronavirus is a hot topic of discussion - and rightly so, with the current death toll having just surpassed 1100 and an estimated 45,000 more people infected. Although treatment options, vaccines and the origin of the virus are the topics most likely to show up in your Google search bar right now, there is also a large volume of content out there relating to good hygiene practices and awareness as a method of preventing both the spread and the contracting of the virus.
What does Coronavirus mean for you?
In our previous blog post "What does the Coronavirus outbreak mean for you" we spoke about good hand hygiene practices being the most effective means of limiting the risk of contamination (as recommended by the WHO).
But good hand hygiene practices don’t exist in isolation. They need to be combined with excellent hygiene in our homes, and (perhaps even more importantly) at our places of work: the places we spend most of our time, and where we come into contact with a far wider cross-section of the population that just our friends and family.
In an article on CNN today, a Singapore bank evacuated staff after an employee was found to be infected with Coronavirus, and stated that “office spaces and common areas like elevators and bathrooms are being deep cleaned and disinfected.”
And in the very next news story, CNN reported that “Experts are investigating if the coronavirus can spread through piping systems” after residents on different floors (but vertically above and below one another)of the same building contracted the virus.
While scientists believe Coronavirus it is mainly transmitted by direct contact and through contaminated droplets, Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung said that an improperly sealed pipe could have resulted in virus transmission, by carrying infected faeces into the building's ventilation system and blowing it into people's bathrooms. "As the pipeline that transfers faeces is connected to the air pipe, it is very likely for the virus in the faeces to be transmitted through the air fan into the toilet,"
While the investigation into the building continues, Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection has advised the public to maintain drainage pipes by regularly pouring water into drain outlets and to put the toilet lid down before flushing "to avoid spreading germs."
We’ve long maintained that the Journey of the Germ starts with toilets that are flushed with an open lid. We’ve also always maintained that good personal and office hygiene starts in a bathroom that has been deep cleaned, to ensure that bacteria are eliminated from recesses, u-bends and other hard-to-reach areas.
This is because office bathrooms are often in poorly ventilated parts of the building and if hygiene isn’t made a priority, they come to be associated with odour, germs and filth. An unhygienic bathroom (as we have seen from the Hong Kong building example above) poses very real health risks to you, your colleagues (and by extension, your family).
What are some of the telltale signs that your bathroom is at risk?
- You’ve noticed an unpleasant odour in the bathroom, unrelated to bodily waste. This lingering malodour is the byproduct of bacteria
- You’ve noticed encrusted scale on the inside of your toilet and basins, or under the rims
- Urine, faeces and other bodily waste products are found in deep recesses, flushing rims and outlets
- You may be hearing more frequent complaints of bouts of illness in the office, including respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and diarrhoea
You might be thinking, surely these things can be fixed quickly with the help of some chemical cleaning products and my daily cleaner?
The answer is unfortunately not. Often daily cleaners don’t have the right equipment, skillset or the right products to address the problem. To elaborate, they may be able to mask the smell with air freshener; clean surfaces and the inside of the toilet with general chemicals, but this is no match for bacteria and scale buildup. The equipment needed to get into recesses and crevices - where bacteria is most concentrated - is usually not at their disposal.
So why a Deep Clean from Initial?
Initial’s Ablution Hygiene Treatment (AHT) is delivered by trained hygiene specialists to sanitise toilets, bathroom fixtures and surfaces. Patented bio-enzyme preparations, which are 100% environmentally friendly, are used to remove the buildup of scale, dirt and faecal deposits, and are compatible with septic tanks.
Initial is also the only provider to offer antibacterial fogging as part of our deep clean. Antibacterial fogging uses a high-level disinfectant in an aerosol state. The aerosol droplets reach into every crack and crevice and cover every exposed surface of your bathroom, penetrating the places daily cleaning just can’t reach. Compared to manual cleaning, fogging is an extremely fast, efficient and water-wise service which significantly reduces the overall bacteria count in a bathroom, for safer, healthier environments. Read more about the service and its benefits here.
You might think it sound messy, it’s not. This service is extremely water-wise as bio-enzymes are used instead of high-pressure hoses (which can use up to 50 litres of water in 5 minutes.) You might also be concerned about the cost of such a high-tech solution to bathroom deep cleaning, but in a previous blog post, we showed just how you can get a full hygiene solution, including a quarterly deep clean, for a mere R2.40 per person, per day - less than a cup of coffee.
If you aren’t sure that you have a problem in your bathroom but just want some peace of mind - and who doesn’t these days - you can always contact Initial to send in an expert consultant to do a free onsite assessment.