An Outbreak of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection in an Elementary School in Pennsylvania

Marchbanks, Tiffany L.; Bhattarai, Achuyt; Fagan, Ryan P.; Ostroff, Stephen; Sodha, Samir V.; Moll, Mària E.; Lee, Bruce Y.; Chang, Chung-Chou H.; Ennis, Brent; Britz, Phyllis; Fiore, Anthony; Nguyen, Michael; Palekar, Rakhee; Archer, W. Roodly; Gift, Thomas L.; Leap, Rebecca; Nygren, Benjamin L.; Cauchemez, Simon; Angulo, Frederick J.; Swerdlow, David
January 2011
Clinical Infectious Diseases;2011, Vol. 52 Issue suppl_1, pS154
Academic Journal
In May 2009, one of the earliest outbreaks of 2009 pandemic influenza A virus (pH1N1) infection resulted in the closure of a semi-rural Pennsylvania elementary school. Two sequential telephone surveys were administered to 1345 students (85% of the students enrolled in the school) and household members in 313 households to collect data on influenza-like illness (ILI). A total of 167 persons (12.4%) among those in the surveyed households, including 93 (24.0%) of the School A students, reported ILI. Students were 3.1 times more likely than were other household members to develop ILI (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3–4.1). Fourth-grade students were more likely to be affected than were students in other grades (relative risk, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2–3.9). pH1N1 was confirmed in 26 (72.2%) of the individuals tested by real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The outbreak did not resume upon the reopening of the school after the 7-day closure. This investigation found that pH1N1 outbreaks at schools can have substantial attack rates; however, grades and classrooms are affected variably. Additioanl study is warranted to determine the effectiveness of school closure during outbreaks.


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