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Int J Infect Dis. 2012 May;16(5):e382-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.01.010. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Response to 2009 pandemic influenza A H1N1 among public schools of Georgia, United States--fall 2009.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1600 Clifton Road, Mailstop E46, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



Little is known about the extent of implementation or the effectiveness of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in schools to control the spread of 2009 pandemic influenza A H1N1 (pH1N1).


A web-based, cross-sectional survey of all public K-12 schools in Georgia, USA was conducted about preparedness and response to pH1N1, and absenteeism and respiratory illness. Schools that reported ≥10% absenteeism and at least two times the normal level of respiratory illness in the same week were designated as having experienced significant respiratory illness and absenteeism (SRIA) during that week.


Of 2248 schools surveyed, 704 (31.3%) provided sufficient data to include in our analysis. Participating schools were spread throughout Georgia, USA and were similar to non-participating schools. Of 704 schools, 160 (22.7%) reported at least 1 week of SRIA. Most schools reported implementing the CDC recommendations for the control of pH1N1, and only two schools reported canceling or postponing activities. Schools that communicated with parents about influenza in the summer, had shorter school days, and were located in urban areas were less likely to experience SRIA.


Most Georgia schools in the United States adopted the CDC recommendations for pH1N1 mitigation and few disruptions of school activities were reported. Early and timely communication with parents, as well as shorter school days, may have been effective in limiting the effect of pH1N1 on schools.

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