While Chinese universities report concern about their students being physically unfit, American universities are noticing a different problem: poor hygiene.

According to a piece by Donna Duberg at Tork:

At colleges and universities across the country, students aren’t just being exposed to a learning environment. They are also being exposed to germs and viruses that can be easily passed from student to student and keep them from their studies. The primary method of transmission of germs is by hand which can spread the common cold, influenza, Salmonella, E. coli, and many other harmful bacteria and viruses. According to a recent survey on hand hygiene behavior… 68 percent of college students say the reason they missed classes was due to illness.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that these illnesses were those that could have been avoided through more hand washing, but it’s reasonable to suppose.

Some 73 percent of college students wash their hands after working out, but about half of them do not wash their hands after taking public transportation and 58 percent don’t wash up when they get home after class.

Apparently one in four college students don’t “feel their campus has adequate handwashing and/or hand sanitizing stations available for student use,” though this seems a little questionable to me. Don’t all campus buildings have bathrooms?

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer