PORTLAND, Ore. – The Influenza and norovirus season is in full swing, and health officials say cleaning your home is part of the defense you need to put up to fight getting sick.
The flu virus can live a day or two on surfaces in your home. The tougher norovirus can survive up to two weeks, according to Tri-County Health Officer Justin Denny, MD, with the Multnomah County Health Department.
“It’s likely to be spread in your household; it’s hard not to. Typically every one [norovirus] case causes two more, and if you don’t clean up causes 14 more. That’s why cleanup is so important,” said Denny.
Fortino Barajas says his Maids by Trade cleaning service is busy right now, with clients wanting a good cleaning after viruses infected their homes.
“It’s very common this time of the year. We get a lot of calls for that type of cleaning,” said Barajas.
He recommended, along with a complete cleaning, that residents focus on door knobs and handles, kitchen and bathroom areas and play areas.
Denny said bleach is required to kill the tougher norovirus. He said to use from five tablespoons to two cups of bleach for every gallon of water, depending on the surface you are cleaning.
“Any beddings have to go in the washing machine right away with bleach or high temperature. That’s the only way to kill it,” Denny added.
The flu virus is more fragile and can be killed with non-chlorine cleaners. With both illnesses, health experts say you need to stay home if you’re sick, because person-to-person contact is the most common way for illness to spread.