Nav: Home

Targeted school closure policies may help the fight against pandemic influenza

January 21, 2016

Targeted school closure policies may help mitigating the spread of pandemic influenza, while entailing lower social costs than more traditional policies, such as nationwide school closure. This emerges from a modeling study published in PLOS Computational Biology led by Laura Fumanelli.

In the work, the authors simulate influenza spread and evaluate the impact of four different school closure types: nationwide, countywide (all schools in a county), reactive school-by-school (entire school when student absenteeism exceeds a certain threshold) and reactive gradual closure (classes first, then grades, and finally the entire school).

The researchers find that gradual and countywide closures are the two most effective strategies in terms of number of averted cases and school weeks lost per student. These approaches entail lower social costs than nationwide closure since they involve a lower number of students and parents who must stay away from work to take care of them.

A lot of analyses have already explored the impact of closing schools to reduce influenza transmission, but most of these studies have focused on the very costly approach of nationwide closures. These were regarded as too burdensome by a number of countries during the 2009 pandemic.

Contingent on the economic and social costs that health authorities are willing to afford in relation to disease severity, targeted school closure policies may thus contribute to limit the impact of future influenza pandemics.
-end-
All works published in PLOS Computational Biology are Open Access, which means that all content is immediately and freely available. Use this URL in your coverage to provide readers access to the paper upon publication: http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004681

Contact: Laura Fumanelli
Address: Bruno Kessler Foundation
Center for Information Technology
via Sommarive 18
Trento Povo, 38123
ITALY
Email: lfumanelli@fbk.eu

Citation: Fumanelli L, Ajelli M, Merler S, Ferguson NM, Cauchemez S (2016) Model-Based Comprehensive Analysis of School Closure Policies for Mitigating Influenza Epidemics and Pandemics. PLoS Comput Biol 12(1): e1004681. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004681

Funding: LF, MA, SM received funding from the European Commission Horizon2020 CIMPLEX project. NMF and SC received funding from NIGMS MIDAS. NMF also acknowledges funding from MRC, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and NIHR HPRU. SC also acknowledges funding from Labex IBEID, AXA Research Fund and EU FP7 PREDEMICS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

About PLOS Computational Biology

PLOS Computational Biology features works of exceptional significance that further our understanding of living systems at all scales through the application of computational methods. All works published in PLOS Computational Biology are Open Access. All content is immediately available and subject only to the condition that the original authorship and source are properly attributed. Copyright is retained. For more information follow @PLOSCompBiol on Twitter or contact ploscompbiol@plos.org.

About PLOS

PLOS is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization founded to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.
-end-


PLOS

Related Pandemic Influenza Articles:

US public concerns about COVID-19 pandemic
This survey study assessed public concerns about symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 and individual actions in response to the pandemic.
The four horsemen of the COVID-19 pandemic
It is clear that we must prioritize identifying and alleviating the conditions that made the Covid-19 pandemic possible.
How and where to allocate stockpiled ventilators during a pandemic
Key factors must be taken into account in determining the need for and allocation of scarce ventilators during a severe pandemic, especially one causing respiratory illness.
Supporting clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic
All coronavirus-related content published in Annals of Internal Medicine is free to the public.
Investing in antibiotics critical to saving lives during pandemic influenza outbreaks
In a new study published in the journal Health Economics, researchers at CDDEP, the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, and Wageningen University in the Netherlands developed a mathematical framework to estimate the value of investing in developing and conserving an antibiotic to mitigate the burden of bacterial infections caused by resistant Staphylococcus aureus during a pandemic influenza outbreak.
Dogs can be a potential risk for future influenza pandemic
Dogs are a potential reservoir for a future influenza pandemic, according to a study published in the journal mBio.
Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic
New data analysis suggests that people born at the time of the 1957 H2N2 or Asian Flu pandemic were at a higher risk of dying during the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic as well as the resurgent H1N1 outbreak in 2013-2014.
Parkinson's disease: A looming pandemic
New research shows that the number of people with Parkinson's disease will soon grow to pandemic proportions.
Pandemic preparedness in the next administration
As the United States prepares for new leadership, global health thought leaders will convene January 10 to discuss ways the Trump administration can contribute to pandemic preparedness, global health security, and domestic readiness and resilience.
NIH-supported study pinpoints origin of 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic
NIAID-supported researchers have used genetic sequencing to show that the 2009 global H1N1 influenza pandemic began in central Mexico, originating in pigs and spreading to humans.
More Pandemic Influenza News and Pandemic Influenza Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.