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General Chat Thread, Picking up illnesses? in General; Does anyone find that since working in schools as ICT Support that they have picked up lots of colds and ...
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    Picking up illnesses?

    Does anyone find that since working in schools as ICT Support that they have picked up lots of colds and what not? What with being in contact with so many keyboards? Technically a days work is like shaking hands with every single person in the school.

    On top of that you have people who don't wash their hands after the toilet and people who cough, sneeze and splutter all over keyboards and monitors. You get all the nasty bugs in the air sucked up into the projector filters so cleaning those should come with a health warning also.

    I certainly have noticed that in the past 4 years I have been ill a lot until this year, I think now I am immune to everything as I have not been ill all the school year! Touch wood!

    Do you clean computers often? Do your school cleaners do it? Is it in your e-safety policy as I heard it should be. I used to be to be honest I been too busy to order supplies to continue cleaning.

    Does anyone think that the occasional (termly??) wipe with antibacterial wipes on keyboard and mice would be sufficient?

    Let me know your views on being at greater risk to illnesses than other staff due to being in contact with more keyboard and mice.

    I remember that some companies have educated staff on personal hygiene as a lot of the workforce are off ill every year due to simple personal hygiene caused problems.

    Apparently hand driers are no where near as effective as paper towels when washing hands as the towel draws any remaining germs from your hands and is disposed of, driers simple dry it onto your hands. Drying is apparently a very important part of the washing process.

    ok i'm beginning to waffle, looking forward to your replies!

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    tomscaper's Avatar
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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I do find that alot as well, i always wash my hands now after i do anything, to be honest i am in and out of the toilets all day, i should probably buy some hand wipes or something like that.

    But i see teachers who are off with colds and flu all the purely due to hygene, even the kids i shudder sometimes when i thinkn what could be on the keyboards and mice, plus door handles pick up alot of germs too.

    I think i am now immune to the things that pass around the school too, but every now and again something pops up and hits everyone.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    At first, maybe...

    but after several years I'm steadily becoming more and more immune. I think it's due to constant exposure

    I landed flu in February and was in bed for a week, but that's the only thing I've had in years.

    I always wash my hands thoroughly before eating and just before I leave work for the day!

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I was off a LOT last year, my first year working here (about 6 times and a total of 20+ days). Mostly down to chest infections, one of which had me hospital for 2 days.

    I've no idea why as I've never really had anything like that before. I seem to get the cold now and then but it's still chest infections that occur the most. I put it mostly down to the air conditioning and the fact that I work in the same room as the servers, it's all the dry stale air!

    I do wash my hands very carefully before I eat lunch though.

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    How I can relate to this !!
    Been with the school just over 3 years now. When I first joined I was told I would be ill, I would be ill quite alot in fact because of what goes around. Thinking this was just a wind up as I have 2 kids of my own I ignored it.
    How wrong I was, I have never in my life had so many colds, illnesses etc. At one stage I was off for almost 2 weeks with a growth on my tonsils. Odd thing was I had my tonsils out about 30 years ago !! Dr said a little was left behind and what I had was quite rare - he was exicted about it, I was rather ill with it.
    Anyway now I would like to think I have been exposed to almost everything the kids can chuck at me.
    What was good was the fact the staff knew that any person just starting off in a school would most probably go through it !!
    I too wash my hands at least 3 times a day and try to hang off using the lavs unless I really have to.

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    tomscaper's Avatar
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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I had chest infection this year too, i had never really had one before, and i wasnt sure where it had come from , but as you said i sit in a room with air con all day long so maybe the air con caused it.

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    To be honest in the 4 years i've been here i have probable had 10 days off ill... think going to a boarding school i became immune to most bugs so am lucky now i just dont get ill working with the kids.

    My other half who works with little ones is always ill though lol...

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I pretty much never get ill. I get mild flu and cold symptoms which are nothing more than an annoyance. I recently was of work for the best part of the week with a chest infection. I havent been that ill like that since the mid 90s :P

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    8O Since I started at the comp, I have been off for 1 day in 4 years and even then it was a 24hr bug thing. I think I must be immune to about everything now, even the swearing!

    During the summer we use antibacterial wipes on the keyboards, mice and special ones for the TFT's and CRT's as well as the interactive whiteboards as the teachers come into contact with them.

    We also have a procedure where all technical staff and most of the ICT teaching staff carry a small tub of antibacterial hand gel (like the hospital staff and the MRSA scares) and we also carry gloves when we come into contact with unknown or even known substances, but they really are a last resort, such as if someone as poured a drink over the keyboard etc.

    All in all our team has an outstanding record, to the extent where we haven’t had to activate the Skelton service at all, except when there’s was just me and a Network manager! :P

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I had 100% no-illness record until I started work here, then I fell ill almost all the time. Most frustrating indeed!

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I had a couple of days off when I first started (2 1/2 years ago) but since then I think ive only had 1 more day off sick. I just dont get ill for some reason.

    Which is good but it also leads me to be frustrated with people who do get ill a lot, when in reality it really isnt their fault

    We never clean computers. If a laptop comes in and looks grubby Ill give it a wipe but thats about it

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    Its all true. I started here and was ill quite a bit. Mainly when the kids come back after term holidays. Almost guaranteed that I would be ill after one week with the little darlings back. After 5 years, I seem to be immune now as I have not had time off this year yet. Touch wood etc.

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    Ive been here for 6 months and apart from the odd sniffle been fine, until last week that is. I had some dodgy food and was ill over the weekend, came into work and am now coughing my guts up, guess my immune system couldn't keep everything away at once!

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I know its all a little simplistic but isnt the easiest option to keep your hands out of your mouth and wash hands before eating etc? I wash my hands 200 times a day but then I am a serial nail biter 8O

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    Re: Picking up illnesses?

    I get this with a new job, going on holiday or training courses, moving home - anywhere where you encounter new people and new germs.

    And air con' is just a mass transit system for germs. It amazes me how many people don't realise this - do they think the air is bubbled though a vat of Dettol?

    I recommend good personal hygeine, keeping yourself fit, balanced diet, multivitamins and iron tablets and cod liver oil capsules just in case the diet gets unbalanced, and mouthwash and/or alcohol to get the little b*gg*rs as they land.

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