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'Common sense' cleaning a key part of flu prevention

Posted at 7:59 PM, Jan 29, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the coronavirus continues to dominate headlines, another health threat is claiming even more lives – the flu.

And the nation is in the peak of flu season.

"The influenza virus lasts longer on surfaces with low humidity,” said Dr. Rex Archer, Kansas City, Missouri, health director. “So as we get into the winter and have lower humidity, the virus stays around longer so it's easier to pass.”

So far this season, the CDC estimates more than 8,000 people have died from their infections. Three of those deaths happened in Kansas City, Missouri.

That's why sanitizing is a key part of flu prevention. No one knows that better than Camille Reneau, a mother of five who ownsGreen Clean Maid Services.

Reneau walked the 41 Action News Investigators through her post-flu cleanup routine.

"I want to say it's common sense stuff, but it's those common sense things we tend to forget about," she said.

They are items that might not seem dirty to the naked eye.

"Anything your hand is going to touch,” Reneau said. “All doorknobs, all cabinet handles, you know, anything.”

That includes light switches, remote controls and toilet handles in bathrooms.

Start at the top of each room and work your way down.

While standard disinfecting wipes work well, there are other options, too. Green Clean Maid Services uses only natural, eco-friendly products.

"I think it's just safer for the environment, for yourself," Reneau said.

Her basic cleaning solution includes:

  • Combining equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Adding a couple drops of essential oil. Reneau recommended familiar cleaning scents like lemon or eucalyptus.
  • Spraying the solution on to a towel and using it to wipe down surfaces.