A few years ago, avian influenza (bird flu) grabbed national headlines and the world braced for a potential pandemic. Though most of the attention was given to health officials, jan/san distributors quietly prepared their own plan of attack. They alerted customers to the threat and focused sales on infection control products such as hand soaps and hand sanitizers, disinfectants and facial tissue.

Thankfully, avian influenza never infected the U.S. population and the worldwide pandemic never came to fruition. But now we’re faced with another dangerous virus: H1N1, also known as swine flu. Swine flu doesn’t seem to be as deadly as bird flu, but it has already mutated to be transmissible from human-to-human. Already nearly 300 cases have been confirmed in 36 states. Schools across the country have begun closing and health officials predict eventually all 50 states will have confirmed cases.

Once again, it’s time for distributors to position themselves as the experts and educate their customers. Help cleaning professionals separate fact from fear and set them up with appropriate products. Since swine flu is an influenza type A virus, the same methods for fighting the common flu will also be effective against H1N1.

In addition to selling products, put together educational materials for end users to pass along to building occupants. Frequently asked questions about the virus and signage reminding occupants to wash their hands are good places to start.

For up-to-date information, check out our special swine flu section on CleanLink. We’ll be posting the latest news, articles, products and case studies regarding this new virus. Visit www.cleanlink.com/swineflu for the latest information.