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TitleAppropriate time-interval application of alcohol hand gel on reducing influenza-like illness among preschool children : a randomized, controlled trial
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPandejpong, DD, Danchaivijitr, SS, Vanprapa, NN, Pandejpong, TT, Cook, EF
Paginationp. 507 - 511
Date Published2012-08-01
PublisherElsevier Science
Place PublishedS.l.
Keywordsalcohols, child hygiene, hand washing, personal hygiene, preventive medicine, statistics, thailand bangkok

Studied is the efficacy of different time-interval applications of alcohol hand gel as a strategy for the prevention of influenza-like illness (ILI) in preschool-age children. A classroom-based cluster randomization at a kindergarten school in Bangkok, Thailand is performed. A total of 1437 children were placed into 3 test groups, based on the frequency of alcohol hand gel use for hand hygiene: only before lunch (q lunch), every 120 minutes (q 120), and every 60 minutes (q 60). The primary outcome was a change in the school absenteeism rate caused by ILI. The rates of absenteeism from confirmed ILI (sick days/present days) were 0.026 in the q lunch group, 0.025 in the q 120 group, and 0.017 in the q 60 group. Significant reductions in absenteeism rates were seen when comparing the q 60 group with the q 120 group (rate difference, 0.009; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.002 to 0.015; P = .008) and comparing the q 60 group with the q lunch group (rate difference, 0.0096; 95% CI, 0.004-0.016; P = .002). No such differences were detected between the q 120 and q lunch groups (rate difference, 0.001; 95% CI, 0.005-0.007; P = .743). The compulsory hourly use of alcohol gel as classroom hand disinfection could significantly reduce the rate of absenteeism from ILI in preschool-age children. [authors abstract]

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