Cetrix Blog

May 20, 2016

Mobile Devices and infectious diseases in schools

Every year, the flu season affects thousands most of whom are young children and elderly people. The Spread of infectious diseases in schools is quite common as they transfer from person to person by touch, sneeze, cough, etc. Schools are especially susceptible to flu outbreaks and epidemics caused by colds, influenza, H1N1, etc. Every year the CDC publishes useful information regarding the upcoming flu season, which provides comprehensive information for school authorities as well as general public. More about how the spread of infectious diseases in schools can be prevented can be found here.

Spread of Infectious Diseases in Schools

In recent years, the spread of infectious diseases in schools has been increasing due to the rising use of electronic devices by students. According to latest researches, more and more schools across the globe are adopting digital and e-learning in their classrooms. For example, in the United States, almost all the students in middle and high school use mobile devices for study and homework. In fact, almost a third of these devices are issued to them by their school. Similarly, in the UK, around 70% of primary and secondary schools have integrated tablet computers in their daily learning. Just in the last two years, the number of tablets in UK schools is believed to have almost doubled from 430,000 to 900,000. Gauteng public schools have incorporated e-learning and started a ‘wired for life’ campaigns, which saw more than 300 schools receive tablet computers in September 2015.

While a great step, this also leads to higher risk of spread of infectious diseases in schools using mobile devices and tablets. This is because colds and flu spread mainly through touch and coming into contact with infected surfaces, and shared tablets are breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Also, it’s not possible to keep track of which tablets were touched by an infected student, and hence, more children become exposed to these diseases unknowingly.

Though it is easy to disinfect other surfaces, it’s not that easy to clean smartphones and tablets as the commonly used liquid disinfectants can ruin these gadgets. So how can we curb the spread of infectious diseases in schools while still safely using the tablets and mobile devices?

Smartphone and Tablet UV Disinfection

Ultraviolet or UV light is a very effective way of killing deadly viruses and pathogens in not just hard surfaces, but also air and water. There are some latest germ killing robots that use UV light which is so powerful that it can even kill the deadly Ebola virus.

Older devices using UV light had some harmful side-effects, but modern technology like ChargeMax ensures that UV light is used in a safe and effective way to disinfect all types of surfaces. This proves particularly helpful in case of electronic devices like tablet computers since UV doesn’t lead to any damage or void their warranty. So even as the use of mobile devices increases among students, latest UV technologies will be able to stop the spread of infectious diseases in schools through these devices.

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About Olsen Antos

Olsen is a solution architect at Cetrix Technologies Ltd, responsible for virtual prototyping. His role is to validate a design by simulating and visualizing its behavior under real-world operating conditions, and refining the prototype through an iterative process. Olsen holds an MSc. In Numerical Analysis from Essex University in Britain. Before joining Cetrix, Olsen worked 11 years with manufacturers across Europe and North America advising and helping them to get the most out of their investment in CAD, CAE, CAM, PDM, PLM and BPM technologies.

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