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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Viruses, Bacteria, and Your Business

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO professional fogging a room. SERPVRO professional fogging a client's living area - to eliminate the risk of dangerous pathogens in this room contaminating visitors.

Both viruses and bacteria are pathogens, more commonly known as ‘germs’. They can both cause
illness and infection, making them a serious health hazard for your business. While they are both germs, bacteria and viruses behave, reproduce and infect us differently - this means they require different preventative measures, modes of cleaning and treatments. Understanding the differences and working with experts is crucial in keeping your facility safe for employees and customers alike, whether you’re facing the aftermath of a sewage back up, or the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bacteria are living organisms made of a single cell. The human body has trillions of beneficial
bacteria, but many types of harmful bacteria also exist. Staphylococcus aureus, which causes staph
infections, Escherichia coli, aka E. coli, and Salmonella are examples of harmful bacteria.
Viruses are organic particles with some genetic material, meaning that unlike bacteria, they aren’t living cells and cannot reproduce without a host, or something to infect. Viruses are responsible for a wide array of diseases including COVID-19, Flu, Rabies, and more.

Both bacteria and viruses generally prefer warm, moist places, with bacteria favoring porous
surfaces like fabric and food, while viruses prefer hard surfaces like countertops. The time these
germs live on these transmission surfaces varies greatly from hours to days, though even a small
window is enough for high transmission. Door knobs, pens, touch screens and keyboards, as well as break room items like microwaves and fridges, bathrooms and vending machines, all play host to pathogens, and allow for fast transmission to clients and employees alike. This type of spreading is contact transmission, where touching or contacting something then infects a person with the pathogen.

Bacteria and viruses can also spread in other ways, such as airborne transmission, sprays or
splashes from coughs or sneezes, and blood borne transmission through cuts or abrasions. Since pathogen transmission can happen in so many ways, thorough cleaning is the best defense for your business.

How To Protect Your Business From Bacteria and Viruses

Bacteria on surfaces can be fought with cleaning solutions like soap and water or multipurpose
cleaners, which can remove them from surfaces (though they don’t kill them). Antibacterial agents
that target bacteria to keep them from growing and reproducing, effectively ending their life cycle, can also be used.

While there are many broad antibiotic drugs, antiviral drugs are much less common. Outside of the body, it is possible to remove viruses with cleaning and disinfecting techniques, though it is more difficult. It’s important to use disinfectants that are registered with the EPA to kill viruses.
Protecting your business involves cleaning and disinfecting regularly and thoroughly. SERVPRO
Kaufman County’s decontamination and disinfection specialists are equipped to help keep your workplace safe from infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Regular cleaning is critical to stopping the spread of infectious illness, whether at home or at the
workplace. Contacting trained decontamination experts to thoroughly clean and disinfect your
business is the safest way to get the job done.

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