Seasonal influenza, commonly referred to as “the flu,” is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs, and can cause severe and life-threatening illness in many people. It is spread from person to person through virus-infected droplets from coughing, sneezing, influenza-contaminated surfaces, high-touch objects and hands.
In the U.S., five to 20 percent of the population, on average, contracts the flu each year. In Europe, between 10 and 30 percent of the population becomes infected.
Annual epidemics are estimated to result in approximately 3 million to 5 million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide, with about 90 percent of flu-related deaths occurring in people over 65 years old.
Ecolab has been active in helping customers prepare for the flu season and will monitor developments through our global influenza surveillance capabilities.
Summary of Situation
Several countries in the Northern Hemisphere are reporting low levels of influenza or flu-like illnesses.
Recommendations to Protect Against the Flu
How Ecolab Can Help