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Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Apr;17(4):619-25. doi: 10.3201/eid1704.101353.

Effects of hand hygiene campaigns on incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza and absenteeism in schoolchildren, Cairo, Egypt.

Author information

1
US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (NAMRU-3), Cairo, Egypt. maha.talaat.ctr.eg@med.navy.mil

Abstract

To evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive hand hygiene campaign on reducing absenteeism caused by influenza-like illness (ILI), diarrhea, conjunctivitis, and laboratory-confirmed influenza, we conducted a randomized control trial in 60 elementary schools in Cairo, Egypt. Children in the intervention schools were required to wash hands twice each day, and health messages were provided through entertainment activities. Data were collected on student absenteeism and reasons for illness. School nurses collected nasal swabs from students with ILI, which were tested by using a qualitative diagnostic test for influenza A and B. Compared with results for the control group, in the intervention group, overall absences caused by ILI, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, and laboratory-confirmed influenza were reduced by 40%, 30%, 67%, and 50%, respectively (p<0.0001 for each illness). An intensive hand hygiene campaign was effective in reducing absenteeism caused by these illnesses.

PMID:
21470450
PMCID:
PMC3377412
DOI:
10.3201/eid1704.101353
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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