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Euro Surveill. 2009 Aug 20;14(33). pii: 19311.

The importance of school and social activities in the transmission of influenza A(H1N1)v: England, April - June 2009.

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  • 1Health Protection Agency (HPA), United Kingdom. Ishani.Kar@hpa.org.uk


During the containment phase in the United Kingdom (April to June 2009), a cluster of influenza A(H1N1)v cases was identified prompting further investigation and public health action by the Health Protection Agency. The first confirmed case, a pupil at a school in England, was imported. During the following two weeks, 16 further cases were confirmed with epidemiological links to the first imported case. In this cluster, we found that significant transmission occurred in two classes with attack rates of 17.4% and 7.4%. In each of the two classes a case had attended school whilst symptomatic. Other settings included a choir and a party. Minimum and maximum attack rates were 3.6% and 4.2% for the choir and 14.3% and 25% for the party. We did not find any evidence of transmission on two school bus trips despite exposure over 50 minutes to a symptomatic case and over two periods of 30 minutes to a case during the prodromal phase (i.e. within 12 hours of symptom onset). Nor was there onward transmission in another school despite exposure over several hours to two cases, both of whom attended school during the prodromal phase.

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