The flu virus is at unusually high levels here in Pennsylvania and across the United States. You probably already know the best way to avoid the flu (wash your hands!), and what to do if you do get it (stay home and rest with plenty of fluids), but the following facts about the virus may surprise you.
1. The word “influenza” stems from an Italian word – “influentia” – because people believed that the flu was caused by the influence of the stars, planets and moon.
2. In a typical year, up to 20% of Americans get the actual flu, causing 200,000 hospitalizations.
3. The flu virus can live up to 48 hours on hard, nonporous surfaces, making janitorial supplies in Erie PA one of the best defenses against it. During flu season, kick your disinfectant game up a notch and regularly wipe down frequently-touched surfaces, including doorknobs, light switches and phones. Using a floor scrubber in Erie PA can also help reduce germs in your facility. Talk to us about our used floor scrubbers in Erie PA for affordable options.
4. The Spanish flu pandemic was the deadliest in history, occurring in three waves beginning in 1918. The virus killed more people in the following year than the Black Plague did in 50 years.
5. During the Spanish flu pandemic, a town in Arizona made it illegal for people to shake hands.
6. Historic “cures” for the flu included drinking whiskey, eating milk toast, dousing the body with icy water and smoking cigars. We don’t recommend any of these methods (except maybe toast).
7. Viruses are much simpler organisms than bacteria. They are inert bundles of genetic material housed in shells made of fatty membranes.
8. Viruses also rapidly reproduce, which enables them to mutate more in just one day than humans have in several million years.
9. Diseases spread more rapidly today than ever before thanks to air travel. A flu virus can travel to Europe from Hong Kong in just 12 hours and reach North America in about 18 hours.
10. The flu costs the United States billions of dollars a year in lost wages and productivity.