During a recent case of Ebola in Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the infected person had direct contact with up to 80 people – including five schoolchildren. The enterovirus D-68 and the outbreak of whooping cough from the Midwest to California, has put public health officials on high alert. The recent measles outbreak that started in a theme park, has spread to Northeast Texas, San Diego, and Brooklyn, NY. How do we prevent the spread of disease on school buses?
Research shows that 90 percent of parents nationwide are following their pediatrician’s recommended vaccine schedule, but that leaves 10 percent who are not. Experts agree that children who have not been vaccinated could put others at risk, especially very young children and the elderly. So what can schools do? Germy hands are the worse in spreading diseases. The good news is that disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers could possibly eradicate the spread, if they are used regularly and properly. A professor at the University of Arizona found that schools can reduce absenteeism due to illness by 50% just by disinfecting the student’s desks once a day.
School bus drivers are advised to request a copy of their school district’s Infection Control Plan (ICP) for guidelines on regular cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. The ICP should contain the following information:
ü Areas considered high risk and high-touch points (railing, grab bars and seatbacks)
ü Procedures for cleaning these areas, including which approved products to use
ü A list of products that have been approved and supplied by their district’s transportation department
If a school has a “germ protection program”, it has been clinically proven to remove 99% of bacteria and germs and improve school attendance by creating a healthier environment for students.
Note: The five children exposed to the Ebola virus in Texas, as noted above, have shown no signs of the disease !!!