How Quickly Does Sickness Spead In The Workplace?

A new study has found that sick employees will “contaminate” half of the total employees and surfaces in an office within four hours. University of Arizona microbiologist Kelly Reynolds targeted an office building of 80 people and gave 10 people a “surrogate virus,” which infects bacteria but has no ill effect on humans. She was surprised at how quickly the virus spread: “It seemed like people were very isolated in their offices. But throughout the day, everybody tended to go to the bathroom at least once and they tended to touch one of the common areas.” Flu and cold viruses can also survive up to three days on “porous” surfaces like wood and “grooved plastic.” Using a tissue rather than hands when sneezing, as well as using antibacterial hand spray and wipes for surfaces, cut the spread of the virus by 90%.