Navigation Links
1 in 5 Parents Missed Work for H1N1 School Closings: Survey

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Closing schools to help stem the spread of H1N1 influenza didn't have a serious economic impact for most parents, according to a new U.S. government study.

But whether school closures slowed the spread of the so-called "swine flu" is unclear, as the report found that 69 percent of children from a closed school in Pennsylvania visited other places, such as stores, sports practices, restaurants and doctors' offices, while their school was closed.

"We wanted to conduct a survey to assess what impact a school closing has on a household. What kind of disruption did these parents have?" explained the study's lead author, Thomas Gift, an economist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "We found that only a minority of households reported any time off from work," he said.

But, in the 22 percent of households where at least one parent had to miss work, about 40 percent of those parents had to miss five days of work, he added.

In spring 2009, H1N1 flu was quickly beginning to spread across the United States. Trying to stop the outbreak, some school districts closed schools where children had been positively identified as having H1N1 influenza.

The current study focuses on the impact of the week-long closing of a Pennsylvania elementary school in May. Two hundred and fourteen parents completed the survey, and those parents accounted for 269 (59 percent) of the 456 children enrolled at the school.

Most of the households (73.4 percent) had two adults living in the home, while 15 percent had more than two adults in the home. Just under 12 percent were single-parent households, according to the study.

Forty-one percent of the households had at least one child with flu-like symptoms, and 16 percent had at least one adult with flu symptoms, the survey found.

Just 22 percent of parents reported having to miss work because of the closure. In many cases, another parent took care of the children, or a nearby relative helped out, Gift said.

Gift said he's not sure if these results would be similar in a different population, such as a more urban setting with more single-parent households.

In this study, parents who had to take off from work often felt a significant impact.

"If you had to miss work to any degree, you probably had to miss many days," said Gift.

Although home was the primary location where the children from the closed school spent their time, more than two-thirds reported being in other places, such as stores or restaurants.

While it appears that a school closing, at least in this particular community, didn't have a huge economic impact, the question remains as to whether this strategy is helpful in stemming an outbreak, especially since many of the children didn't stay home.

"I think it's not clear yet if school closings are effective, but they probably help during an explosive outbreak initially," said Dr. Kenneth Bromberg, chairman of pediatrics and the director of the Vaccine Research Center at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City.

"Once a flu is widespread, such closures probably don't work because there are so many other places where kids can get flu," he said, adding that immunization -- when available -- is generally a much more effective prevention strategy.

Findings from this study will be published in the August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Another study in the same issue of the journal found that children with H1N1 who were under 13 years old were contagious for an average of 11 days compared to seven days for those over 13, suggesting that younger children may need to stay isolated for longer periods of time. The study also found that people who developed pneumonia from an H1N1 infection had higher amounts of the virus in their bodies and likely require more aggressive care.

More information

Learn more about H1N1 influenza from

SOURCES: Thomas Gift, Ph.D., economist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Kenneth Bromberg, M.D., chairman, pediatrics, and director, Vaccine Research Center, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; August 2010, Emerging Infectious Diseases

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Explorers Bounty Puffed Fruit Snacks Helping Parents Battle Summer Obesity
2. Parents often wait too long to treat childrens asthma symptoms
3. New intervention helps Latino parents of asthmatic children quit smoking
4. PDA Reminds Parents About the Importance of Childrens Oral Health
5. New Virtual Program for Parents of Children with ADD / ADHD
6. Parents Divorce Doesnt Harm College-Age Kids
7. Some Parents Consider Hastening a Sick Childs Death
8. Infectious Virus Hides In Human Chromosomes During Latency And Can Be Passed From Parents To Their Children
9. Mother of Binge Drinking Victim Urges Students and Parents to Discuss Signs of Alcohol Poisoning, Emphasize Peer Responsibility Prior to Spring Break
10. Twinlab Launches New Omega-3 Powder in Single-Serving Stick Packs for Busy Parents and Their Kids
11. Risks of Kids Surgeries May Not Stick With Parents
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
1 in 5 Parents Missed Work for H1N1 School Closings: Survey 
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian ... On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers ... a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... WAUSAU, Wis. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... formulated standard products to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities ... team of probiotic experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Information about the technology: , Otomagnetics ... enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. Cisplatin and ... For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose limiting toxicity. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... FL (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... On ... holding a treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American ... $300 or more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Vohra Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shark Bird, ... nursing facility medical directors and other clinicians at various events in October. His ... many of these conferences we get to educate other physicians, facility nurses, corporate ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... , Oct. 5, 2017  In response to ... Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations ... to be used as a first-line therapy to ... Recognizing the value ... White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... Software and Consulting, LLC , and named its founder ... based in Tennessee , will operate ... expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners to ... "In an interoperable world, technology ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... COPENHAGEN, Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The ... tool in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription ... plan for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their ... is set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 ... access. Learn more at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: