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Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2017 May;11(3):220-229. doi: 10.1111/irv.12440. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

School absenteeism among school-aged children with medically attended acute viral respiratory illness during three influenza seasons, 2012-2013 through 2014-2015.

Author information

1
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) are common in school-aged children, but few studies have assessed school absenteeism due to specific respiratory viruses.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate school absenteeism among children with medically attended ARI due to common viruses.

METHODS:

We analyzed follow-up surveys from children seeking care for acute respiratory illness who were enrolled in the influenza vaccine effectiveness study at Marshfield Clinic during the 2012-2013 through 2014-2015 influenza seasons. Archived influenza-negative respiratory swabs were retested using multiplex RT-PCR to detect 16 respiratory virus targets. Negative binomial and logistic regression models were used to examine the association between school absence and type of respiratory viruses; endpoints included mean days absent from school and prolonged (>2 days) absence. We examined the association between influenza vaccination and school absence among children with RT-PCR-confirmed influenza.

RESULTS:

Among 1027 children, 2295 days of school were missed due to medically attended ARIs; influenza accounted for 39% of illness episodes and 47% of days missed. Mean days absent were highest for influenza (0.96-1.19) and lowest for coronavirus (0.62). Children with B/Yamagata infection were more likely to report prolonged absence than children with A/H1N1 or A/H3N2 infection [OR (95% CI): 2.1 (1.0, 4.5) and 1.7 (1.0, 2.9), respectively]. Among children with influenza, vaccination status was not associated with prolonged absence.

CONCLUSIONS:

School absenteeism due to medically attended ARIs varies by viral infection. Influenza B infections accounted for the greatest burden of absenteeism.

KEYWORDS:

absenteeism; children; influenza

PMID:
27885805
PMCID:
PMC5410714
DOI:
10.1111/irv.12440
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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