October 12, 2006
Media Release

Prevent illness.  Keep germs out of business

October 16-22 is National Infection Control Week
NEWMARKET –   National Infection Control Week is October 16-22, 2006.  Since its Canadian inception in 1998, National Infection Control Week continues to provide professionals in this field with an opportunity to educate the community about the importance of infection prevention.  The goal of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness on the importance of infection control practices in the workplace. 
According to Statistics Canada, work absence due to illness and/or other personal reasons, has increased from 7.3 days (per worker/per year) in 1997 to 9.2 in 2004 (Statistics Canada, April 2005).
Having a co-worker who is ill at the workplace can be uncomfortable and concerning. Germs that cause illness can be passed by coughing, sneezing, touching and sharing surfaces (i.e., telephone, computers, keyboards, door handles, etc). 
Proper hand washing is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of germs and prevent infection.  With the flu season approaching, it is important to keep the following tips in mind to help protect yourself from the spread of germs and reduce your risk of illness throughout the year.
• Wash your hands often
• Cover your mouth when cough or sneeze
• Stay home when you are sick
• Clean your work area often
• Get your annual flu shot
• Use antibiotics wisely
• Pack a safe lunch
• Adapt a healthy lifestyle
Health Canada recommends that all healthy children and adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women receive an annual flu shot.  You can get the flu shot at York Region Health Services Flu Shot Clinics or from your physician.  Clinic dates and locations will be advertised in your local paper.
For more information on how you can promote National Infection Control Week at your workplace or to complete a quiz visit our Web site at:  http://www.region.york.on.ca/Services/Public+Health+and+Safety/Infectious+Diseases/Infection+Control+Week+.htm
For more information on this or any other health-related questions, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free) or visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444 ext. 4016 or After-hours Pager (905) 830-3302
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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