Absenteeism in schools is a significant problem. In many countries, including the United States, school funding is tied to student attendance. Absenteeism (when students miss school), can put that funding at risk. While many factors contribute to school absenteeism, student illness is believed to be the main driver of student absenteeism. The transmission of pathogenic organisms (microorganisms, bugs, germs, etc.) within schools can result in infections making students too sick to attend classes, which can reduce school funding. Diseases such as influenza (flu), rhinovirus (common cold), and norovirus (vomiting/ diarrhea, stomach flu), are common diseases that can be positively impacted by more frequent hand hygiene and routine cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces. This article discusses some of the evidence on how hand hygiene can reduce absenteeism for students.


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