Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

School closure could reduce swine flu transmission by 21 percent, European study finds

Date:
November 27, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
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 compared opportunities for infection on school days and weekends/holidays, finding that they were reduced when schools are shut.

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.

Related Articles


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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Niel Hens, Girma Minalu Ayele, Nele Goeyvaerts, Marc Aerts, Joel Mossong, John W Edmunds and Philippe Beutels. Estimating the impact of school closure on social mixing behaviour and the transmission of close contact infections in eight European countries. BMC Infectious Diseases, 2009; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "School closure could reduce swine flu transmission by 21 percent, European study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127101042.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, November 27). School closure could reduce swine flu transmission by 21 percent, European study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127101042.htm
BioMed Central. "School closure could reduce swine flu transmission by 21 percent, European study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127101042.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Privacy regulators recommend Google expand its requested removals to apply to all its web domains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) T-Mobile and the FCC have reached an agreement requiring the company to alert customers when it throttles their data speeds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins