Received a call from a client this morning, the facility manager of a large insurance agency. He has something of an epidemic of "pink eye" around the office, with perhaps a half dozen of his folks affected. Wanted to know what he, or we, might be able to do about it.
Pink eye can be several things. A somewhat unusual allergy affecting multiple people simultaneously seems unlikely, so we are left with viral or bacterial infection. Bacteria is the more serious, and indicates medical treatment, but the symptoms (green discharge, eyes swollen shut) are not present. So, we're likely left with viral.
Generally with a virus you can vaccinate beforehand, but not kill the virus once it hits; you just try to mitigate the symptoms, and let the immune system work its magic. So all we can do regarding the office environment is prevent the spread of the illness, which is what my client called about in the first place.
The pathogen can be either touch-point or air borne; left on the refrigerator door or coffee pot handle, or broadcast by the fellow in the next cubicle coughing without a hand or tissue over his mouth.
Providing nightly janitorial service, with an eye (no pun intended) on health, we stress touch-point sanitation, using microfiber wipes and a hydrogen peroxide solution, and full restroom/break-room disinfection, with a hospital grade product; we can generally leave the facility pretty healthy for the next morning. Problem is, the first fellow who scratches his itchy eyelid and then touches a doorknob re-infects the place.
I asked my crew to double down on the sanitation procedures, but also suggested the client 1) pick up some antiseptic wipes, and get someone to wipe down touch-points around the office multiple times per day; 2) advise staff to avoid shaking hands, or using another's phone or keyboard, and to avoid coughing at people (perhaps hand out some surgical masks for emphasis); 3) pick up a barrier hand lotion (we use one by R & R Lotion, a local Scottsdale and Phoenix supplier), which kills pathogens on one's hands for some four hours after application. We offer the latter to our cleaning crews, to defeat anything that gets past the latex gloves; I use it religiously myself, before visiting clients, or attending Chamber meet-and-greet events, or Sunday church.
Haven't had a cold in a long time.