This is the rainy season when everyone gets sick

This is the time of year when nearly everyone is sick. Parents and school children are particularly vulnerable to bacteria and viruses..

The Ministerio de Salud notes a dramatic upswing in the number of cases of seasonal illnesses, and the Cruz Roja estimates that the average youngster will have a cold six to 10 times a year.

The current disease of choice seems to last from a week to 10 days with fever, headache, sneezing and general weakness.

The Cruz Roja has joined in a campaign with The Clorox Co. to reduce the infections in the schools. The Cruz Roja and Clorox started Friday at Escuela Joaquín García Monge in Desamparados to instruct children in proper hygiene. The effort will continue at nine different schools. The big remedy is hand washing. But Clorox also notes that its product when diluted in water makes an effective sanitizer. That fact is supported by independent government agencies.

Since an estimated 80 percent of infections are transmitted by touch, washing hands and scrubbing down surfaces makes sense. The company suggests a cup of Clorox with four liters of water, a bit more than a gallon.

A young student can touch 300 different surfaces in 30 minutes, the company said. The Cruz Roja estimates that one of every five persons has weak immune defenses. They can be babies, pregnant women, the aged or others with weakened systems.

The Clorox-Cruz Roja program is designed to instruct the children but also to reduce infections carried to the home and family.

The program calls for routine disinfection of school furniture including computer keyboards and chairs. The suggested frequency is once a week, according to the program.

Elsewhere the program calls for disinfecting pens and pencils, telephones, computer mouses and surfaces. In the home, a clorox mixture can eliminate mold and also disinfect vegetables and fruit, the program noted.

Clorox is not the only company that manufactures products that can be used in disinfecting. There also are a number of sprays that will do the job.

However, the company has a full-time health specialist, who has been working here with the Cruz Roja to spread the word.

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