HAVERHILL (CBS) – With a four percent absence rate among students and staff, Haverhill Public Schools are combating flu season with their weapon of choice – a germ blaster.

Disinfecting tablets are dropped into water and loaded into the spray gun. The germ blaster then shoots a chlorine-based mist, which sanitizes the surface. It’s only done when students aren’t in school – like vacation week.

Senior custodian Tomas Tavera believes the tool is much more effective than typical cleaning practices.

The germ blaster mist gets into spots that are tricky to clean (WBZ-TV)

“The chemical will get into any crevasse and pretty much eliminate anything that it comes into contact with, which is great because manually you won’t be able to get into the little areas,” he said.

The germ blaster is part of Haverhill School District’s attendance campaign to make sure every student is well enough to attend school, especially in flu season.

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