Effect of short-term school closures on the H1N1 pandemic in Japan: a comparative case study
- 229 Downloads
The 2009 worldwide influenza A/H1N1 pandemic particularly affected younger people, including schoolchildren. We assessed the effects of class/school closure during the pandemic on the spread of H1N1 infection in Japan.
We prospectively monitored 2,141 schoolchildren in 57 classes at two elementary schools and two junior high schools in Japan, and evaluated the effects of class/school closures on the spread of H1N1 using descriptive epidemiological methods.
The cumulative rate of H1N1 infection among these children was 40.9 % (876 children). There was a total of 53 closures of 40 classes, including school closures, during the pandemic. Time-course changes in the epidemic curve showed that school closure reduced the following epidemic peak more than class closure. A Poisson regression model showed that a longer duration of closure was significantly related to decreased H1N1 occurrence after the resumption of classes.
School closure more effectively inhibits subsequent epidemic outbreaks than class closure. Longer school closures are effective in reducing the spread of infection, and school closure should be implemented as early as possible.
KeywordsInfluenza H1N1 School closure Transmission
We thank Tomoko Fujimura, Hiroko Hayashi, Saemi Tokuhara, Hiroko Takeda, Kuniyo Kodama, Rieko Nishizawa, Midori Fuse, Naomi Yuzawa, Hiromi Saguchi, Koji Kamijo, Yasuyoshi Matsushima, Kazuki Nagai, Junichi Kitamura, Masashi Miura, Naohisa Kuraishi, Kazumi Maeshima, Dr. Tetsuo Nomiyama, and other organization members for their assistance in the collection and analysis of the data.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 1.World Health Organization (WHO). Pandemic (H1N1) 2009. 2009. http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html. Accessed 20 Dec 2011.
- 10.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Outbreak of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) at a school—Hawaii, May 2009. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010;58:1440–4.Google Scholar
- 24.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60:1128–32.Google Scholar
- 26.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parental attitudes and experiences during school dismissals related to 2009 influenza A (H1N1)—United States, 2009. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010;59:1131–4.Google Scholar
- 30.National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), Japan. A survey for H1N1 influenza in Japan. 2009. http://idsc.nih.go.jp/disease/swine_influenza/webcast/pdf/3.pdf. Accessed 20 Dec 2011.
- 31.Tsai TF, Pedotti P, Hilbert A, Lindert K, Hohenboken M, Borkowski A et al. Regional and age-specific patterns of pandemic H1N1 influenza virus seroprevalence inferred from vaccine clinical trials, August–October 2009. Euro Surveill. 2010;15:1–4.Google Scholar