Building Simulation

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 29–37

Evaluation of intervention strategies in schools including ventilation for influenza transmission control

  • Xiaolei Gao
  • Yuguo Li
  • Pengcheng Xu
  • Benjamin J. Cowling
Research Article Indoor/Outdoor Airflow and Air Quality

DOI: 10.1007/s12273-011-0034-7

Cite this article as:
Gao, X., Li, Y., Xu, P. et al. Build. Simul. (2012) 5: 29. doi:10.1007/s12273-011-0034-7

Abstract

Many common respiratory infectious diseases transmit readily among school-age children. In major epidemics, school closures and class suspensions may be implemented to attempt to control transmission in the community. However, such intervention measures have been subject to an extensive debate as well as questions of its effectiveness and adverse social impacts. In the meanwhile, engineering intervention methods are also available, but their impacts at the community level were not well studied. A better understanding of how different school interventions contribute to the airborne disease prevention can provide public health officials important information to design infection control strategies, in particular how engineering control methods such as ventilation are compared to other intervention methods. In this study a hypothetical indoor social contact network was constructed based on census and statistical data of Hong Kong. Detailed school contact structures were modeled and predicted. Influenza outbreaks were simulated within indoor contact networks, allowing for airborne transmission. Local infection risks were calculated from the modified Wells-Riley equation, and the transmission dynamics of the disease were simulated using the SEPIR model. Both school-based general public health interventions (such as school closures, household isolation) and engineering control methods (including increasing ventilation rate in schools and homes) were evaluated in this study. The results showed that among different school-based interventions, increasing ventilation rate together with household isolation could be as effective as school closure.

Keywords

airborne infection social network engineering control school interventions Wells-Riley 

Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolei Gao
    • 1
  • Yuguo Li
    • 1
  • Pengcheng Xu
    • 2
  • Benjamin J. Cowling
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Institute of Applied Mathematics, Academy of Mathematics and Systems SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Public HealthThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina

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