Welcome!

News Feed Item

Watch Out for Your Co-Workers This Cold-and-Flu Season

Survey finds some feel they are indispensable and can't miss work when they're sick

ROSWELL, Ga., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cold-and-flu season is notoriously unpredictable, but there's one thing you can count on: People will get sick. And when they do, many will bring their germs to work, putting others at risk. 

Why? They feel they're "essential" or have too much on their plates. A survey released today by Kimberly-Clark Professional found that 59 percent of people go to work when they're sick. Three in 10 said it was because they were too important to the business operation, which prompts the question: Are their germs essential too?

A cough, a sneeze, an unwashed hand touching an elevator button, stair railing, ATM machine or other "hot spot" in an office or other location – that's all it takes to spread cold and flu germs. Viruses on surfaces like sink faucets and door handles can spread rapidly, especially in public places, and studies have shown that workers are exposed to illness-causing bacteria right in their own break rooms, as well as elsewhere around the office.

While you may not be able to change the behavior of others, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Chief among them is to wash, wipe and sanitize. That message appears to be getting through. According to the survey:

  • 79 percent wash their hands after coming in contact with a sick colleague.
  • 97 percent wash their hands after using the restroom as a way to avoid getting sick.
  • 81 percent use a hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes.
  • 84 percent said the top motivator for using products to avoid colds and the flu was easy access.

"More than one third of people say they are germ anxious and want to take steps to protect themselves against other people's germs," said Elane Stock, President, Kimberly-Clark Professional. "That's why it's crucial for people to adopt the Hygienify! wash, wipe, sanitize protocol – three easy steps that reduce the chance of infection from colds and flu in the workplace by about 80 percent."[1]     

That's a significant benefit when you consider that 63 percent of respondents said they or a family member had been sick in the six months prior to the survey.

"Germs can be spread throughout the workplace and elsewhere when people touch hot spots that have been contaminated by people who are ill," said Dr. Charles Gerba, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Arizona. "That's why individual efforts can make such a big difference. If you stay home when you're sick, you won't be passing your germs around the break room and other places."

Last year's flu season was particularly nasty – an epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  It's yet another reason you need to prepare to take care of yourself before it's too late. Here are some actions you can take:

  • Speak up – Ask your human resources or building manager to provide the convenient and accessible tools you need to help break the chain of germ transmission – such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, plenty of paper towels (since drying with a paper towel can reduce the spread of germs on hands up to 77 percent), soap and facial tissue.
  • Take steps to prevent the spread of germs – Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze and then throw the tissue away. Try to use an anti-viral tissue, since they have a special moisture-activated middle layer that traps and kills cold and flu viruses. If you don't have a tissue handy, cough or sneeze into the inner part of your sleeve at the elbow.
  • If you get sick, stay home – Don't put other people at risk because you feel you're too "essential" to stay away from the office. If you do become sick with a flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • You may also want to check out your germ personality. A new quiz from Kimberly-Clark Professional can tell you where you stand on the germaphobe spectrum. The results may surprise you.

To arrange an interview with Dr. Gerba or Kelly Arehart, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Global Innovation, Health and Wellness, Kimberly-Clark Professional, contact [email protected] or call Rachel Gross at 781-684-0770. For more information about the survey see these infographics.  

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130924/NE84914-INFO-a )

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130924/NE84914-INFO-b )

To learn more about how to protect against cold and flu or to take the germ personality quiz, visit The Cold and Flu HQ at www.kcprofessional.com/ColdandFluHQ.

Survey Methodology

Conducted by ORC International on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional, the telephone survey used two national probability samples, which, when combined, consisted of 1,005 adults, 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. 655 interviews were from the landline sample and 350 interviews from the cell phone sample; 423 of these adults were employed full or part time. The interviews were conducted from February 28March 3, 2013.The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1%, and 4.8% for those employed full or part time, at the 95% confidence level.

A Multifaceted Approach to Germ Fighting

Through programs such as The Healthy Workplace Project, The Healthy Schools Project, LiveWell and others, Kimberly-Clark Professional offers a unique approach to hand and surface hygiene that helps people understand how germs are transmitted to help stop their spread. The programs provide educational materials in conjunction with hand and surface hygiene products, arming people with the tools and knowledge necessary to break the chain of germ transmission in offices, schools, manufacturing facilities, hotels, stadiums and other locations. By reinforcing the importance of the Hygienify! protocol of "wash, wipe, sanitize," people can significantly reduce the risk of infection from cold, flu and other germs. For more information, visit The Cold and Flu HQ at www.kcprofessional.com/ColdandFluHQ.

About Kimberly-Clark Professional

Kimberly-Clark Professional partners with businesses to create Exceptional Workplaces, helping to make them healthier, safer and more productive. Key brands in this segment include: Kleenex, Scott, WypAll, Kimtech and Jackson Safety. Kimberly-Clark Professional, located in Roswell, Ga., is one of Kimberly-Clark Corporation's four business sectors.  To see how we are helping people the world over work better, please visit www.kcprofessional.com.

About Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world's population trust K-C's brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the Company's 141-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. 

[KMB-B]

[1] The reduction in probability of infection is based upon mathematical modeling referenced in the Workplace Wellness Intervention Study.

SOURCE KMB-B

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
The goal of Continuous Testing is to shift testing left to find defects earlier and release software faster. This can be achieved by integrating a set of open source functional and performance testing tools in the early stages of your software delivery lifecycle. There is one process that binds all application delivery stages together into one well-orchestrated machine: Continuous Testing. Continuous Testing is the conveyor belt between the Software Factory and production stages. Artifacts are ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Did you know that you can develop for mainframes in Java? Or that the testing and deployment can be automated across mobile to mainframe? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Vaughn Marshall, Sr. Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will discuss and demo how increasingly teams are developing with agile methodologies using modern development environments and automating testing and deployments, mobile to mainframe.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...