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Social separation stops flu spread, but must be started soon
Date:4/30/2009

ively. This study found that, for an outbreak of influenza approximately as infectious as the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, the combination of all intervention measures must be introduced within 2 weeks of the first case appearing in a town or city, to prevent an epidemic developing. Delays of 2, 3 and 4 weeks resulted in final attack rates of 7%, 21% and 45% respectively.

Milne concludes, "Social distancing interventions are important as they represent the only type of intervention measure guaranteed to be available against a novel strain of influenza in the early phases of a pandemic. They may be readily activated and thought of as a first line of defence in developing and developed countries alike".


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Contact: Graeme Baldwin
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BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

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