Local businesses take extra measures to fight the flu

Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:49:05 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 11 2013 07:20:10 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -- -

As the flu continues to spread, local businesses that see lots of customers are taking extra precautions.

The YMCA in La Crosse sees more than 1,300 people a day come through its doors.

With them come all of the germs they may be carrying.

With an aggressive flu season this year, staff at the YMCA are doing what they can to stop the spread among their members.

As cases of the flu continue to increase, so does cleaning at the YMCA in La Crosse.

"We are a highly used facility. With the way the flu is spreading throughout this season right now, they've increased the amount of times they're going through and disinfecting any touchable areas; tabletops, hand railings, door knobs, they're increasing the amount of times they're going through and doing that. In addition they've beefed up the disinfectant," said YMCA marketing and communications director Nate Hundt.

Surfaces in the kids area are also being disinfected more often to wipe out any germs.

The same is true down in the adult wellness center, where staff is doing extra cleaning and also encouraging members to do their part to avoid catching the flu.

"To protect yourself, we recommend to all of our members they go ahead and disinfect that equipment before they get on it. That way you know what's on it, and you're protecting yourself," said Hundt.

Over at Child First DayCare in La Crosse, staff are also doing what they can to prevent an outbreak.

"We are always spraying down the tables and sanitizing those before and after each activity. We are sanitizing toys and anything that gets mouthed or anything gets in the wash bucket and gets sanitized before getting put back on the shelf for use. We are also encouraging families as they come in or as they leave to wash their hands or sanitize their hands to stop the spread from home and school to home," said Janelle Vanderzee, center director at Child First DayCare.

But when it comes down to it, there's no better way to stop germs than to wash ones hands, which is a success when day care staff can find a way to keep it fun.

"We usually encourage singing a song with it to help encourage them to wash long enough. We have a little sign in our bathroom too, 'drown a germ, make the germs go down,'" said Vanderzee.

Staff at Child First said many of the kids and staff at the day care have received the flu vaccine, which they believe is helping to prevent its spread.

Mayo Clinic Health System says it's given 30,000 flu vaccines so far this year.

Staff members say they have enough for patients, but they are starting to run low on the vaccine.

At the La Crosse County Health Department, the supply is still full.