Effect of Winter School Breaks on Influenza-like Illness, Argentina, 2005–2008
Published Date:Jun 2013
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 19(6):938-944.
Aged, 80 And Over
History, 21st Century
Public Health Surveillance
Description:School closures are used to reduce seasonal and pandemic influenza transmission, yet evidence of their effectiveness is sparse. In Argentina, annual winter school breaks occur during the influenza season, providing an opportunity to study this intervention. We used 2005-2008 national weekly surveillance data of visits to a health care provider for influenza-like illness (ILI) from all provinces. Using Serfling-specified Poisson regressions and population-based census denominators, we developed incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for the 3 weeks before, 2 weeks during, and 3 weeks after the break. For persons 5-64 years of age, IRRs were <1 for at least 1 week after the break. Observed rates returned to expected by the third week after the break; overall decrease among persons of all ages was 14%. The largest decrease was among children 5-14 years of age during the week after the break (37% lower IRR). Among adults, effects were weaker and delayed. Two-week winter school breaks significantly decreased visits to a health care provider for ILI among school-aged children and nonelderly adults.
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