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J Clin Virol. 2011 Mar;50(3):235-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2010.11.012. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

Epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 in a boarding school: serological analysis of 1570 cases.

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Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhongshan Road 3, No. 23, Guangzhou 510080, PR China.



A large number of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) infections were localized in school populations.


To describe the epidemiology, clinical features and risk factors associated with an outbreak that occurred at a vocational boarding school in Guangzhou, P.R. China.


Data were collected prospectively and retrospectively through the use of on-site doctors and a post-outbreak survey and blood collection. The survey was used to confirm symptoms, and to investigate a series of flu-related factors such as dormitory conditions, health habits, vaccine history and population contact history. Blood samples were taken for serological analysis. Pandemic H1N1 infection was initially confirmed by a real-time RT-PCR assay. Following the identification of the outbreak by the Guangzhou CDC on September 4, cases were diagnosed symptomatically and retrospectively by serological analysis using the hemagglutination inhibition assay and a neutralization assay.


The infection rate was 32% (505/1570) and the attack rate was 22.2% (349/1570). The asymptomatic infection rate was 9.9% (156/1570). Sharing a classroom (OR=2.17, 95% CI: 1.62-2.91) and dormitory space (OR=2.32, 95% CI: 1.84-2.93) was associated with higher rates of infection. Opening windows for ventilation was the only control measure that significantly protected against infection.


Social isolation and quarantine should be used to prevent the spread of infection. Ventilation and a control of air flow between classrooms and dorms should be implemented as possible. School closures may be effective if implemented early.

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