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Use of nonpharmaceutical interventions to reduce transmission of 2009 pandemic influenza A (pH1N1) in Pennsylvania public schools



Use of nonpharmaceutical interventions to reduce transmission of 2009 pandemic influenza A (pH1N1) in Pennsylvania public schools



Journal of School Health 83(4): 281-289



School-based recommendations for nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were issued in response to the threat of 2009 pandemic influenza A (pH1N1). The implementation and effectiveness of these recommendations has not been assessed. In November 2009, a Web-based survey of all Pennsylvania public schools was conducted to assess the use of recommended NPIs. Overall, 1040 (31%) of 3351 schools participated in the survey. By fall 2009, 820 (84%) of 979 respondents reported that their school had an influenza plan in place, a 44% higher proportion than in the spring 2009 (p < .01). Most schools communicated health messages (eg, staying home when sick), implemented return to school requirements, and made hand sanitizer available. Schools with a spring influenza plan (N = 568) were less likely to report substantial influenza-like illness (ILI) during the fall wave of influenza than the 299 schools without a spring influenza plan (63% vs 71%, p = .02). This association persisted after controlling for schools with substantial ILI in the spring. The reported use of NPIs in participating Pennsylvania public schools improved substantially from spring to fall and was generally consistent with issued recommendations. The proactive implementation of a number of NPIs and the early implementation of communication and education initiatives might have cumulatively reduced the impact of pH1N1 in some schools.

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Accession: 056801098

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23488889

DOI: 10.1111/josh.12028


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