Professional Disposables International Inc (PDI), Orangeburg, NY, has issued a reminder on ways to stem the spread of H1N1 influenza, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We are closely monitoring the latest updates from both the CDC, as well as the World Health Organization, to ensure the public is provided with the most up-to-date information available,” said Zachary T. Julius, CEO at PDI in an announcement. “According to the CDC, hand hygiene remains the first step in infection prevention and it is a step each one of us can take.”

PDI’s infection prevention recommendations include the following:

• Proper hand hygiene is the single most important means for preventing the spread of infection. Frequently wash hands with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers.

• In health care settings, disinfecting hard surfaces is also critical to preventing the spread of infection between patients and health care workers. Avoid touching community surfaces where the virus can live for up to 2 to 8 hours outside the body.

According to PDI, the Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent guidance for the use of antimicrobial products registered for use against influenza A viruses on hard surfaces states that any EPA-accepted product with an efficacy claim against influenza A virus is effective against the H1N1 influenza virus. All three PDI Sani-Cloth® disinfecting products have claims against influenza A virus.

PDI also released new protocols for both environmental surface disinfection and hand hygiene to reflect the latest guidance from the CDC and the World Health Organization.