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FluTrackers School Closure Policy for All Flu Seasons - Infectious Diseases

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  • FluTrackers School Closure Policy for All Flu Seasons - Infectious Diseases

    We have reviewed all the material to date regarding schools and novel H1N1 09 influenza.

    We are advocating Preemptive dismissals. This is a policy of closing a school when a local health authority determines that there is, or expected to be, some infectious disease in the community that threatens the citizens. Schools are known transmission arenas. Moreover, pregnant women are at significant risk for increased hospitalization when infected with novel H1N1 09.

    Many persons infected with novel H1N1 09 influenza exhibit mild symptoms. Therefore it is difficult to determine when this illness has entered the community. We suggest preemptive dismissals at the earliest signs that this disease has entered the community.

    We suggest the following for parents and other concerned persons:

    1) Call your school and find out what the program is for this influenza season,

    2) Call your parent/teacher association (PTA) representative and join. Be sure this organization has the latest novel H1N1 09 information. Be sure this organization is ready to assist the school administration when needed in the health emergency.

    3) Urge the food programs at your school to continue using the vacant class rooms for service so that social distancing can occur.

    4) Identify child care options in the event schools and nurseries close.

    5) Call the school nurse if you have a special needs child to be review provisions for your child in the event of an outbreak.

    6) Individuals who have the following pre-existing conditions are at higher risk with novel H1N1 09 infections and should be very careful both in the community and the schools:

    chronic CVD,
    morbid obesity,
    neurocognitive disease,
    neuromuscular disease,

    7) Familarize yourself with our left side bar.

    8) Log in regularly to obtain our latest information.

    9) Do not forget, we are with you. FluTrackers is a charity and is staffed by volunteers from around the world. We are online 24 hours a day.

  • #2
    Re: FluTrackers School Policy Fall 2009 - Infectious Diseases

    We are seeing some evidence that a pre-existing Strep Throat infection can worsen the outcome of a novel H1N1 09 infection.

    Strep throat - Mayo clinic -

    Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and usually go away on their own. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat.

    It's important to identify strep throat for a number of reasons. If untreated, strep throat can sometimes cause complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a rash and even damage to heart valves.

    Strep throat is most common between the ages of 5 and 15, but it affects people of all ages. If you or your child has signs or symptoms of strep throat, see your doctor for prompt treatment.


    • #3
      FluTrackers School Policy Fall 2009 & Winter 2010 - Infectious Diseases

      Contact: Graeme Baldwin
      BioMed Central

      School closure could reduce swine flu transmission by 21 percent

      A survey carried out in eight European countries has shown that closing schools in the event of an infectious disease pandemic could have a significant role in reducing illness transmission. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Infectious Diseases compared opportunities for infection on school days and weekends/holidays, finding that they were reduced when schools are shut.
      Niel Hens, from Hasselt and Antwerp University, Belgium, led a team of European researchers in using previously published data from Belgium, England & Wales, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Poland and The Netherlands to estimate the effects of school closure on the number of close contacts people make in a day. He said, "Mathematical models of how infectious diseases spread from person to person through close contacts rely on assumptions regarding the underlying transmission process. One of these assumptions is that school closure will result in reduced exposure for children. Until now, however, the exact impact of this measure has not been proven".

      Hens and his colleagues found that, in general, contacts are reduced by about 10% when schools are closed. On weekends between-generation mixing becomes more frequent (eg, through family gatherings), and same age mixing becomes relatively less frequent. According to Hens, "Children are important spreaders of many close contact pathogens due to their frequent and intimate social contacts, their general hygiene, and perhaps their increased shedding. The reduced opportunity for contact we describe here would be a great benefit in a pandemic situation".

      The researchers conclude, "If we can assume that school closure in a pandemic situation resembles school closure during holiday periods, then our results show that such a strategy would have significant impact on disease transmission, of about 21%. Of course, this is a conservative estimate
      as, during a pandemic, typical weekend activities with a strong social component such as team sports and cultural outings may not take place. On the other hand, the expected large macroeconomic costs of school closures would have to be balanced against these benefits".


      Notes to Editors:

      1. Estimating the impact of school closure on social mixing behaviour and the transmission of close contact infections in eight European countries
      Niel Hens, Girma Minalu Ayele, Nele Goeyvaerts, Marc Aerts, Joel Mossong, John W Edmunds and Philippe Beutels
      BMC Infectious Diseases (in press)

      During embargo, article available here:

      After the embargo, article available at journal website:

      Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

      Article citation and URL available on request at on the day of publication

      2. BMC Infectious Diseases is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in all aspects of the prevention, diagnosis and management of infectious and sexually transmitted diseases in humans, as well as related molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and epidemiology. BMC Infectious Diseases (ISSN 1471-2334) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, CAS, EMBASE, Scopus, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

      3. BioMed Central ( is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector


      • #4
        FluTrackers School Policy Fall 2009 & Winter 2010 - Infectious Diseases

        Thanks Tetano - I made a copy of this post to this thread.

        Infection. 2012 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print]
        Effect of short-term school closures on the H1N1 pandemic in Japan: a comparative case study.
        Uchida M, Tsukahara T, Kaneko M, Washizuka S, Kawa S.

        Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Management, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, 390-8621, Japan,

        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.

        [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
        Last edited by sharon sanders; August 5, 2012, 03:00 AM. Reason: added bolding & top comment


        • #5
          As we have stated before, FluTrackers is the same. Our position on core ideals does not change.

          I do not care what recent studies say about schools not being spreading events in this COVID-19 pandemic. That is a bunch of hooey and every parent knows it.

          I say - please use your common sense. Assess your situation and act accordingly.

          For review is a twitter account that purports to track school connected COVID-19 deaths. I can not verify these postings but it appears some of them are true:

          School Personnel Lost To Covid


          • #6

            CDC today is recommending that teachers and school staff have priority status in vaccination - which is an admission that schools are mass spreader locations.

            Please see:

            CDC - Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation February 12, 2021 - February 12, 2021