Valley Janitors Battle H1N1

August 28, 2009 6:01:55 PM PDT
The Fresno County Department of Public Health is warning all businesses and schools to protect themselves with adequate disinfectants against the H1N1 flu.168 people have been infected by H1N1 in Fresno County according to the County Department of Public Health.

This alarming number has one janitorial business providing a few extra touches to service.

Jose Manriquez is a shy, quiet janitor. And what he does at work speaks louder than he ever could.

Every day he targets harmful germs commonly found on these mirrors, bathroom sinks and windows at this northwest Fresno business.

Reporter: "To clean an area this large it takes?"

Ryan Geil: "Approximately 3 hours. To vacuum, sweep and mop."

And disinfect.

Jose's boss Ryan Geil said the newest strain of influenza, H1N1, has forced his janitorial business to step up protection for customers. He offers emergency cleanings, special disinfectant wipes and this special hand sanitizing machine.

Geil: "There are a lot of people who just don't believe the hype. They just think there is no difference but there is. This is a strong strain."

Director of Public Health Dr. Ed Moreno said more people should listen to Geil. "We are still getting reports and diagnosing people with H1N1 now," said Geil.

Moreno is urging businesses and schools to clean and disinfect high traffic surface areas such as glass doors, coffee makers and kitchen sinks.

"Someone else can come along, touch that same surface area and the virus can transmit to their hands," said Moreno.

Once the virus is on the hands it can easily spread to the mouth and eyes leading to cough, sore throat and high fever?all symptoms Moreno said people need to be aware of. "In protecting their employees, they're protecting the most important asset they have, their human resource," he said.

Which is why until a vaccine is produced to combat H1N1 you will find Manriquez wiping down these doors, and sinks every morning?disinfectant in hand. Public health officials said a vaccine should be available some time in October. Moreno said there will most likely be two different shots and there is a concern there will be a shortage of them but we will not know until October.

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