Student behavior during a school closure caused by pandemic influenza A/H1N1

Joel C. Miller, Leon Danon, Justin J. O'Hagan, Edward Goldstein, Martin Lajous, Marc Lipsitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many schools were temporarily closed in response to outbreaks of the recently emerged pandemic influenza A/H1N1 virus. The effectiveness of closing schools to reduce transmission depends largely on student/family behavior during the closure. We sought to improve our understanding of these behaviors. Methodology/Principal Findings: To characterize this behavior, we surveyed students in grades 9-12 and parents of students in grades 5-8 about student activities during a weeklong closure of a school during the first months after the disease emerged. We found significant interaction with the community and other students-though less interaction with other students than during school-with the level of interaction increasing with grade. Conclusions: Our results are useful for the future design of social distancing policies and to improving the ability of modeling studies to accurately predict their impact.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10425
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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