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  • Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert.

    Sep 21, 2017

    Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert, Stay Safe! Wash Your Hands!

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) suggests samples taken from current reported flu cases shows the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for this season’s flu strain circulating the US.

    The US health agency issued an advisory to doctors noting these samples showed that just under half of these samples were a good match for the influenza A (H3N2) component contained in flu shots for the 2014-2015 season, suggests the virus has drifted.  According to the CDC, the flu season has been low but increasing with the Influenza A (H3N2) being the predominant strain with cases detected all over the US.

    The CDC is stressing doctors should be prepared to use antiviral medications when needed and start treatment protocols early. This will help:

    • Shorten the duration of the fever and illness symptoms
    • Reduce the risk of complications from influenza (otitis media in young children and pneumonia requiring antibiotics in adults)
    • Reduces the risk of death among hospitalized patients

    CDC continues to recommend a three-pronged approach:

    1. Get vaccinated
    2. Use antiviral medications when indicated for treatment or prevention
    3. Use of other preventative health practices that will help decrease the spread of influenza – hand washing, respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing (staying home from work and school when ill, staying away from people who are sick

    *Incorporate skin care products, hand washing steps and the following links

    • Influenza Vaccines available in the US, 2014 – 2015 Influenza Season

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccines.htm

    • Information for healthcare professionals on the use of influenza antiviral medications:

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/

    • Summary of influenza antiviral treatment recommendations for clinicians:

    http://www/cdc/gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/summary-clinician/htm#summary

    • Interim guidance for influenza outbreak management in long term care facilities:

    http://www/cdc/gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/ltc-facility-guidance/htm

       

    For more information, follow the link below:

    http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00374.asp

    HAN

         

    CDC's Health Alert Network (HAN) is CDC's primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents with public information officers; federal, state, territorial, and local public health practitioners; clinicians; and public health laboratories.

    CDC’s HAN collaborates with federal, state, territorial, and city/county partners to develop protocols and stakeholder relationships that will ensure a robust interoperable platform for the rapid distribution of public health information.

  • Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season

    Sep 21, 2017

    With winter right around the corner, Betco®, a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning, disinfecting, floor care, and skin care products, reminds those in the professional cleaning and building management industries that now is the time to start thinking about hand care.

    “The dry, cold weather can really damage the skin on your hands,” says Lindsay Tippin, Betco marketing coordinator. “It’s important to start moisturizing before this happens to prevent discomfort that can take weeks to heal.” Tippin also notes that dry chapped hands can evolve into hand dermatitis, a disease that can be very serious, even result in a visit to the emergency room if the condition worsens.

    To help us protect our hands, Tippin offers the following Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season:

    1. Wear gloves every time you go outside; frosty cold air can dry out hands very quickly
    2. If you wear rubber gloves for work, wear a light pair of cotton gloves underneath; this helps protect the skin from the drying effects of moisture and perspiration trapped by the rubber gloves
    3. Facility managers should place bottles or dispensers of hand moisturizer near all sinks so they are readily available for use
    4. Keep a bottle of hand moisturizer nearby and use it frequently
    5. Apply lotion or hand cream over all areas of the hands, including cuticles and nails
    6. While regular hand washing is imperative, in the winter months, use lukewarm water and wash hands longer; hot water strips the skin of natural oils
    7. Studies have found that foam soaps are not only more cost effective than liquid hand soaps but they also require less water; the water is what wipes away protective lubricants
    8. Use hand sanitizers more frequently; although they could make hands dry, they may be a bit gentler to the skin than soap and water
    9. Use foaming hand sanitizers manufactured with non-alcohol formulations
    10. Take the guesswork out of hand care. Work with a manufacturer/distributor familiar with skin and hand care to select the best products to meet your specific needs
    By listening to today’s needs, Betco sets new standards in Cleaning Innovations That Matter. Betco engineers innovative cleaning programs, products and equipment sold through distribution partners internationally.
  • Germs, Germs, Everywhere!

    Sep 21, 2017

    Get this…the average student gets between 6 to 10 colds per year. The fact is colds and flu cause more doctor visits and missed school days than any other illness. So how can parents and school administration work together to prevent this?

    cold-and-flu-in-school-blog
    Here are 5 ways to achieve this:

    1.) Get Immunized – Prevention is the best medicine. Keep up to date on scheduled immunizations for school-aged children. Remember, vaccines only work against specific types of influenza virus for which it was designed for. There is no universal vaccine that will protect you against common cold viruses.

    2.) WASH YOUR HANDS! One of the most common ways of catching a cold or flu is not washing your hands often enough or well enough at school. Studies have shown middle and high school students about half washed their hands after using the bathroom and only 33% of girls and 8% of boys used soap!

    3.) Provide Hand Sanitizer – When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. To make it effective, you should rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands and fingers until dry which is about 30 seconds. Note: Children under the age of six should not use without supervision.

    4.) Proper Germ Etiquette – Cover coughs and sneezes to prevent spreading germs if you think you may have the cold or flu. Sneeze into a tissue and discard then continue to wash your hands!

    5.) Beware of Germ Spots (Touch points) – Studies have shown that bacteria levels are 80% higher on drinking fountains and locker doors than on a toilet seat. Likely because toilet seats get cleaned regularly.

    "Stopping germs where they breed is the best preventative action."

    Here is a great resource on how to survive cold and flu season!

    http://www.today.com/health/how-survive-cold-flu-season-2D12015077
  • Clean Hands Affect Your Brand

    Jul 11, 2017

    foam-soaps-save-water
    Creating a home away from home is something that every healthcare facility strives to accomplish. Patients want to stay in a quiet, pleasant and safe environment. Most importantly, cleanliness and environmental hygiene in these facilities are critical to patient safety.

    While thorough cleanliness is crucial to preventing the spread of infection, data shows that patients perceive a high-level of cleanliness as a prerequisite for safe, high-quality care. From restrooms to the entrance and lobby, a patient’s perception is impacted and a healthcare facility’s brand and reputation is affected.

    In a healthcare environment, cross contamination is the number one concern for the healthcare facility, caregivers, patients and their families. With multiple touch points such as door handles, keyboards and sink faucets, it’s no wonder why hand hygiene compliance is a serious issue. Approximately 80% of all infections are transmitted by the hands.

    How can you implement an effective hand hygiene program at your facility? The World Health Organization recommends 5 essential elements for a successful hand hygiene program.

    Step 1 – Gaining Commitment from all operating areas of your facility is critical. All facility and staff are key advocates to reinforce this commitment.

    Step 2 – Educating those chosen to be hand hygiene advocates on the impact of this implementation is the next step.

    Step 3 – Create a Roadmap by surveying your facility for proper placement of both sanitizing and handwashing stations.

    Step 4 – Implementation of the dispenser installation needs careful planning. Optimizing the educational function, or site zone, of the dispenser along with message reinforcement will greatly assist your facility campaign.

    Step 5 – Developing a communication strategy to drive hand hygiene compliance is critical.

    Healthcare facilities must focus on preventing cross contamination for the well-being of patients and healthcare workers. By regularly researching and determining the most effective cleaning practices, healthcare facilities will be able to achieve a higher level of clean, positively impacting the patients’ health and overall experience.

    For more solutions or guidance to proper hand hygiene, visit betco.com to learn about our Compass Program.

  • Critical Germ Touchpoints in Education Facilities

    Jul 11, 2017

    classroom-700x459

    When it comes to effective cleaning in school facilities, what most people think about first is the restrooms. In fact, studies have found that parents, when visiting a college or university their son or daughter is considering, invariably visit the restrooms to examine their cleanliness. The reasoning is: clean restrooms mean a well-run school; poorly maintained restrooms, can mean something far different.

    However, many people are often unaware of the most important areas that need proper cleaning; these places are known in the professional cleaning industry as high touch areas. We’ve all seen them but probably have never heard them called this before.

    High touch areas include the following:

    • Light switches
    • Door knobs
    • Railings
    • Tops and sides of chairs and tables
    • Elevator buttons
    The list could go on and on. High touch areas can spread germs to many people. Once a surface is contaminated everyone who touches the surface can spread the germs to other surfaces. This problem is paramount in educational locations because many students fail to wash their hands after using the restrooms.

     

    This means that custodial workers must pay extra special attention to high touch areas. An EPA registered disinfectant should be used to clean these areas. If the surface is visibly soiled, first the high touch area must be cleaned prior to disinfection. This two-step process can be avoided if using a Betco product clearly labeled that it can be used for cleaning and disinfecting. Using such a product can be a major time saver.

    High touch areas should be cleaned frequently, as often as once per day. Cleaning professionals should use microfiber cleaning cloths because they tend to be more effective at removing germs and bacteria than traditional cleaning cloths. Also, the cloths should be changed frequently and used for the same purpose: never use a microfiber cleaning cloth used to clean restroom fixtures on light switches, as an example.

    While students and teachers may not be aware of how important it is to keep high touch areas properly cleaned, as cleaning professionals, we must be acutely aware of how important keeping these areas clean and sanitary is to protecting the health of all building users, teachers, and staff.

    Contact a Betco representative for all your school cleaning needs and supplies. The health of your educational facility is one of our top priorities. Call (888) GO-BETCO

  • 'Tis the Flu Season

    Jul 11, 2017

    canstockphoto23170440

    The last thing anyone wants during the holiday season is the flu. During the hustle and bustle this time of year, it’s important to practice effective hand hygiene and protect your health so you can feel your best while shopping, traveling and celebrating. So how can you focus on spreading holiday cheer and not germs this flu season? Try some of these tips so you can stay merry and healthy.

    Get the rest you need. Lack of sleep can affect your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. After long days of running errands, traveling or attending a holiday party, be sure to give your body the rest it needs.

    Sanitize your hands and your surroundings. While the spirit of the season may be all around us, so are numerous types of bacteria. Seats on a plane or bus, your desk at work and shopping carts are common places for you to pick-up unwanted germs. Hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 20%, so protect yourself by washing your hands and sanitizing your surroundings before touching them.

    Foam-Soaps-Save-Water-small

    If you’re not feeling well, stay in. You don’t feel like yourself when you’re sick. While it can be hard to miss out on some holiday fun, it’s important to put your health first. Let people know you won’t be able to attend a gathering if you’re feeling under the weather. They’ll understand and appreciate your mindfulness to allow them to spread cheer, not your germs.

    If you are sick, don’t prepare food. Bacteria is not a favorable secret ingredient. It’s important to prevent cross-contamination since 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. Be courteous of others and don’t contaminate your famous holiday dish with your illness.

    Stay hydrated. Water helps your body transport nutrients to keep you energized and healthy. Nourish your body by following the 8x8 rule; drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

    Take in holiday joy, not germs. Those cookies in the break room and bowl of roasted peanuts at the holiday party are tempting to pick up and eat, but sharing is not always caring when it comes to festive treats. Use the proper utensils when adding food to your plate and steer clear of food that has been touched by other people. Your appetite and your health will be satisfied.

    If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

  • Introducing the Compass™ Hand Hygiene Program

    Jul 11, 2017

    Compass-Blog

    We are excited to announce our latest innovation, the Compass™ Hand Hygiene Program! Compass is the first and only dispenser that actively guides each user to proper hand hygiene practices with each and every use.

    The Compass dispenser features an LCD screen that walks through each step for proper handwashing or sanitizing as outlined by the World Health Organization.

    More than just a dispenser, the Compass program empowers facility managers and cleaning and maintenance staff to build healthier environments by using a full platform of market-specific support materials.

    Implementation Guides


    compass-billboards

    The Compass hand hygiene program is a fully customizable hand hygiene solution for any facility, in any market. For program implementation, take advantage of the full implementation guide for your market, available on betco.com.

    Table Tents, Posters, and Billboards

    Educational material customization is the key to a consistent brand message that tells patients, guests, employees and others that your brand is invested in improving health and hygiene in your facilities.

    Customize your market-specific table tents, posters and dispenser billboards using our online customization tool. Sharing your commitment to your healthy community is as simple as point-and-click!

    Market-specific customization includes:

    • Acute Care
    • Long Term Care
    • K-12 Education
    • Higher Education
    • Food Service
    • Property Management

     

    Custom Logo and Message Inserts

    Using the online customization tool, you can upload your business or school logo for even more customization options. Proudly display your logo inside the sight window of your Compass dispenser for public awareness.

    Compass is More than Just a Dispenser

    It's about building a healthier community, together.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 80 percent of all infections are spread by the hands. Now you have the power to make a positive change in your community!

    Handwashing education in the community:

    • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%
    • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31%
    • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
    The Compass Hand Hygiene Program improves the health of your guests, customers and staff while reducing the spread of germs that cause illness.

     

    Watch the video below to learn more about the Compass program.

    compass-video1

    For other questions and ordering information, please visit us online at betco.com or call Customer Service at (888) GO-BETCO.

  • FDA Issues Final Rule on Triclosan

    Jul 11, 2017

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued the rule that 19 active ingredients are no longer considered GRAS/GRAE (Generally Recognized as Safe/Effective) for use in over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic washes intended for use as either a hand wash or a body wash. This rule goes into effect on September 6, 2017.

    triclosan

    The FDA states: “On or after this date any OTC consumer antiseptic wash drug product containing an ingredient that we have found in this final rule to be not GRAS/GRAE or to be misbranded cannot be initially introduced or initially delivered for introduction into interstate commerce.”

    One of the active ingredients affected by this ruling is triclosan, the most widely-used active ingredient in OTC consumer antiseptic washes.

    Betco® already offers many non-triclosan skin care solutions that comply with this new rule. In the next 12 months, we plan to introduce additional skin cleansers that will meet this criteria for consumer antiseptic handwashing for use with any of our innovative hand hygiene platforms.

    This ruling does not affect antiseptics used by healthcare professionals, antiseptics used by food industry professionals or consumer antiseptic rubs (i.e. hand sanitizers). Consumer antiseptics are defined as those primarily used in homes, schools, daycares or other public settings.

    You can find full details of the FDA ruling here.

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