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Preventable Communal Diseases That Students Come In Contact With at School

As we all prepare for kids to return to school, extra precautions are being instituted to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the classroom. But this is not the only communicable disease that can disrupt learning. Even before the pandemic, faculty and administrators worked hard to understand how germs spread for kids, and how to clean and disinfect schools most effectively. Today, a flu or common cold diagnosis may come as a relief – given the possible alternative – but they still require kids to stay home, which impacts learning.

A few weeks into resuming in-person learning, primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong reported over 400 outbreaks of the common cold. Heeding this warning, schools could anticipate potential surges in cold spreads because rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, has been shown to linger longer on surfaces – even after disinfecting. Colds can also be contracted via airborne pathogens, but the likelihood of getting a cold through contact with an infected surface is greater.

With some overlap between how COVID, the flu and common colds are contracted, reliable disinfecting protocols go a long way in helping to prevent the spread of disease in schools.

Common sicknesses you’ll find at school

Any environmental health risk to children, administrators and faculty should be taken seriously. In addition to the cold and flu, other viruses like pink eye, stomach flu and hand, foot and mouth disease are among the most infectious illnesses that students will likely come in contact with at school.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, elementary school children get between 6 and 8 colds a year and high schoolers get about 3 to 4 colds a year. This contributes to forty percent of the kids ages 5-17 who miss at least three days of school each year from being sick. Given all that we’ve recently learned about disease transmission, larger schools have hundreds and even thousands of students coming into contact with one another every day, touching the same surfaces and sharing the same spaces. Some areas are particularly susceptible to germ spread.

Any high-traffic area — like a cafeterias, hallway or gymnasium — is a hub for bacteria, mold and viruses to live and grow. Kids build up their immunities to sickness by interacting with each other, but bacteria and viruses that are resilient enough to survive on surfaces for days should be addressed. Typical sanitizing and ventilating practices in schools like wiping down shared surfaces, and opening windows and doors are time-consuming and insufficient. Supplementing these practices with proper air quality control and air purification will help arm our schools on the heels of a pandemic and minimize future disease transmission between students.

Prevention of communicable diseases at school

As we learned with rhinoviruses, disinfecting surfaces and using hand sanitizer is not always enough. PYURE technology offers the best air sanitizer solution that protects against the most common viruses found in schools, as well as COVID-19. Using ultraviolet energy, PYURE replicates the cleansing power of the sun by generating and dispersing hydroxyls and organic oxidants into the air. These are the same natural cleansing agents that keep the air outside safe to breathe by breaking down pollutants and killing pathogens. PYURE destroys airborne viruses, bacteria and mold indoors on both porous and non-porous surfaces while neutralizing and decomposing chemical irritants.

Putting PYURE to the test

In a surface pathogen destruction test, PYURE proved to reduce the presence of the influenza virus (H1N1) by 96% within an hour and after 6 hours, 99.999% of the virus was undetectable. Parents and school staff can also rest easy knowing that PYURE’s technology has been proven to progressively reduce the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the air and on surfaces by 99% in 20 minutes and 60 minutes, respectively. Virus levels were below the limit of detection in the air after 80 minutes and on surfaces after 3 hours using PYURE.

PYURE is dedicated to protecting schools against harmful pathogens. As we collectively work toward a safer, healthier world, PYURE offers a sense of security and peace of mind in schools. Read more about how our PYURE solution has already been implemented in school environments and how to purchase a PYURE product from a local distributor.

If you’re needing assistance investing in solutions to improve your school’s indoor air quality, The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSA), can help facilitate that. This provides assistance to elementary and secondary schools that want to invest in air purification and ventilation systems. Click here to learn more and take a look at where the CARES and CRRSA Act can help support a safe return to in-person learning at your school.

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