Making the air cleaner in classrooms provides numerous benefits, including reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, more suitable environments for students with allergies and asthma and, perhaps most importantly, limiting the spread of the influenza virus.
Minimizing the harmful effects of flu season is particularly important in schools, as preventing the virus from spreading can reduce sick days, so students aren’t missing out on valuable classroom time. Currently, the flu alone is responsible for 38 million missed days of school – that’s not to mention the additional 22 million missed days caused by the common cold.
A wide range of research has correlated absenteeism to reduced academic performance. Despite the fact that the flu is a significant contributor to absences, flu cases have not declined in 12 years, even though prevention efforts have increased. This is partially because the efficacy of the flu vaccine varies from year to year, but also likely has to do with a lack of education about how the virus spreads and reliance on traditional prevention methods.
“Washing hands really is wonderful for preventing many diseases, such as the common cold, but it’s not very helpful to prevent influenza,” Arthur Reingold, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of California-Berkeley, told CNN. “Everyone’s eager to promote hand washing, and certainly it won’t do any harm, but to rely on hand washing as a way to prevent influenza is a serious mistake.”
As researchers learn more about airborne flu transmission, it becomes increasingly apparent that air filtration is integral to advancing prevention methods.
Creating cleaner classrooms
Commercial-grade air purifiers are specifically designed for common areas, which in schools can include classrooms, labs, locker rooms and washrooms. These units not only make the air cleaner, but also provide a targeted complement to HVAC systems. Independent research has found that AeraMax Professional effectively removes 99.9 percent of airborne influenza particles in as little as 35 minutes.
To learn more about flu prevention, download AeraMax Professional’s special report highlighting the dramatic costs of flu season.