Tags: Cold/Flu | germs | cold | flu | virus | spread

Germs Spread Through Offices in Just a Few Hours: Study

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 04:35 PM

Feeling under the weather? Calling in sick is not only best for your health, but also the health of your co-workers.

That’s the upshot of new research that shows a cold virus can spread through an office in only a few hours.
 
The study, by the University of Arizona at Tucson, found that a single door contaminated with a virus can spread the germ to about half the surfaces and hands of about half the employees in the office within four hours, the Wall Street Journal reports.
 
Germs traveled through the office just as quickly when the researchers infected a single person with the virus.
 
"The hand is quicker than the sneeze," said Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona who presented the research at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Washington D.C. this month.
 
The study was conducted at an office building with 80 employees. They contaminated a push-plate door at the building entrance with a virus that is similar in shape, size, and survivability to common cold and stomach flu viruses.
 
Within two hours, the virus had contaminated the break room — including the coffee pot, microwave button, fridge door handle — and then spread to restrooms, individual offices, and cubicles. The virus contaminated phones, desks, and computers. Within four hours, the virus was found on more than 50 percent of the commonly touched surfaces and on hands of about half of the employees in the office.
 
The study, funded by Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of consumer brands including Kleenex and Huggies, is under review for publication.
 

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A cold virus can spread through an office in only a few hours, according to a study by the University of Arizona.
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Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 04:35 PM
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