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Infection Control

School absenteeism down due to hygiene efforts

February 12, 2010
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RICHMOND COUNTY, GA — Attendance at schools in Richmond County has remained constant despite flu season due to increased hygiene awareness, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
According to the story, Joy Miller, an epidemiologist with the East Central Health District, has been tracking the attendance rates in the schools and reports that there has not been the usual spike in absences associated with flu season, as well as fewer cases of norovirus.
Miller said: "Seasonal flu hasn''t really shown itself this year, not like it has in the past. Maybe the vaccinations hit it pretty well. So much attention was made to keep your germs to yourself. I think a lot of that helped, too."
Attendance records show that from December 7 to January 15, average attendance was at least 95 percent for elementary and middle schools, with slightly lower attendance for high schools and higher attendance for magnet schools, the story stated.
School board member Jack Padgett contributes the attendance to the abundance of flu prevention information available associated with outbreak of the H1N1 virus, the story noted.

"We may have prevented a pandemic," Padgett said.

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