Home >Blog>How to Avoid RSV in Office Spaces
A woman looking concerned in an office

Unless you work in the medical field or clean professionally, RSV (which is the abbreviation for respiratory syncytial virus) isn’t commonly discussed. Especially with the time-consuming tasks that come with working in an office. However, even though RSV is similar to a cold and isn’t often serious, it can be dangerous for infants and elderly adults. To protect higher-risk age groups, it’s essential to take measures to slow the RSV spread. From applying hospital disinfectants to using 5.25 bleach, listed below are several suggestions for how to avoid RSV in office spaces. 

If You Have RSV or Cold-Like Symptoms, Go or Stay Home

RSV symptoms are similar to that of a cold because having a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing is part of it. However, according to the CDC, there are additional symptoms, which include: 

  • a difficult time breathing 
  • a fever 
  • a lack of appetite 

If this is you, it’s probably better for yourself and co-workers to stay home, as leaving is a sure way of how to avoid RSV. If you’re already in the office, you can protect others who are at high risk by leaving the commercial area. If you are apprehensive about missing work, there may be a more secure alternative of doing office work from home. Otherwise, resting is helpful for a hasty recovery.  

Sanitize Your Office Space and Items Frequently

Cleaning phone with a disinfectant wipe

Learning how to use cleaning products safely is simple, necessary, and will help you avoid RSV in commercial space. The following cleaners work very well at killing bacteria in an office building:

  • Hospital grade disinfectants
  • Safe bleach products such as 5.25 bleach
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A duster

The reason why this is so important is because even if you aren’t sick, repeatedly used surfaces and objects (such as a keyboard or computer mouse) become dirty and full of germs. 

Touching the same areas every day could possibly make you sick, or weaken your immune system. This will increase the likelihood of becoming ill with RSV. Sanitizing spaces frequently helps prevent this from happening. 

When You Are Sick, Don’t Touch Anyone

A simple way to know how to avoid RSV is: If you are demonstrating any symptoms of the illness, no matter how mild, abstain from touching others. This is imperative no matter what setting you are in, but especially if you’re in an office space.

 Avoid these simple forms of touching: 

  • Hand shakes
  • Fist bumps
  • Kisses (on the lips, cheek, hand, etc.)
  • Hugs
  • High fives

It may seem like the forms of contact listed above are normal and natural. However, taking these precautions will help prevent or slow RSV from spreading.

Wash and Sanitize Your Hands Constantly 

hospital sanitizers and disinfectants 

Another example of how to avoid RSV from transmitting is by routinely washing and sanitizing your hands. This piece of advice is repeated regularly. However, it is helpful because it keeps your immune system strong. 

You should wash and sanitize your hands after the following happens:

  • Incessant coughing or a sneeze
  • You use cleaning products (such as 5.25 bleach)
  • You touch or scratch your nose, eyes, or mouth
  • You touch multiple surfaces and go without washing for a while
  • Handshakes

There are many advantages to frequently washing up. People who do so generally tend to refrain from getting sick as often. This is one main reason why learning to repeatedly wash hands will help you prevent and avoid RSV. 

Keep Space Between You and People Who Have Symptoms 

When co-workers in the office appear to have symptoms, keep your distance for a few days just in case. Maybe suggest they go home, but if they choose not to, there are other simple ways to hinder RSV in the office workplace

For example, if a person seems sick, refrain from:

  • Touching the same areas they have been around
  • Having any sort of physical or up close contact with them
  • Being in an enclosed space with them for too long

Of course, these simple ways of how to avoid RSV are only until they start to feel better. 

Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs in a Safe Manner 

Person holding a tissue to their mouth

A cough and especially a sneeze will travel quickly through office air. This allows germs to travel far, but the bacteria can be killed with hospital grade disinfectants and 5.25 bleach. That is, if you know where the germs landed. Sometimes it’s difficult to see where the spray from the sneeze ended up. 

This spread could be prevented if you safely cover your sneezes and coughs. Taking measures to do so is also how to avoid RSV. These precautions are: 

  • Coughing or sneezing in your shirt
  • Catching the spray with your elbow
  • Using a tissue or handkerchief
  • Using a facemask (then replacing it after it gets too dirty) 

These methods will prevent the sickness from being spread through coughing and sneezing.

When working in an office space, avoiding RSV and other illnesses is essential. This can be done by staying home, sanitizing your office items, and washing your hands. It can also be done by safely covering coughs and sneezes while not having direct contact with those who are sick. All of these practices, if implemented, are how to avoid RSV in office spaces. Contact Seattle Commercial Cleaners today to learn how to avert the spread of illness further.