Navigation Links
Widespread school closures needed to stop strain on hospitals during epidemics

Selective schools closures has been considered as a means of reducing transmission between children and hence reducing the number of cases at the peak of an epidemic but new research led by researchers at the University of Warwick shows that limited school closures are ineffective and that only significant widespread school closures would have real effect on the spread of a epidemic and the strain placed on hospital intensive care units.

Dr Thomas House from the University of Warwick's Mathematics Institute, and the University's Complexity Science research group said:

"Influenza potentially places an extreme burden on local health services. This was observed in both the 2009-10 swine-flu pandemic and this year's seasonal 'flu outbreak. Our work uses mathematical models to assess how school closures reduce the burden on particular hospitals. Although sustained national closures of schools can be very effective, they are costly and disruptive, and can even prevent parents in the health service from responding to any epidemic. We find in the worst cases, that short duration, localised closures cannot fully prevent some hospitals exceeding capacity. This means, when facing the threat of a severe pandemic, a coordinated and possibly extended period of school closures may be necessary."

The researchers found that even with broadly optimistic assumptions about school closures the proportion of hospitals above capacity in their intensive care units cannot be brought to zero and only achieves its lowest value of 12 per cent when there is a coordinated closure of at least 30 per cent of all English schools. In fact if less optimistic (but more realistic) assumptions are made about the timing and selection of closures there is no significant difference on the strain put on intensive care units until at least 50 per cent of all English schools are closed.

"Our work supports the decision not to close schools as a control measure during the 2009/10 swine 'flu pandemic," said Dr House. "If a pandemic is serious enough to require measures like school closures, then they need to be well timed and large scale to have much effect."

The Warwick research team appealed for more public help to create even bigger data sets to help future modeling of these problems that could help inform decision making in future epidemics. "The results in this work rely on existing information about local schools and hospitals, and yet tell us a lot about our ability to control pandemics. Yet, if we wish to devise more refined control methods, we need far more information about people's contact patterns and the behaviour of 'flu in the UK," said University of Warwick researcher Professor Matt Keeling. "Anyone can help with this by filling in the survey at our website, and by registering symptoms with our colleagues at"


Contact: Dr. Thomas House
University of Warwick

Related medicine news :

1. Widespread Use of Defibrillators in Public Places Saves Lives: Study
2. Oncometabolite linked with widespread alterations in gene expression
3. Evidence lacking for widespread use of costly antipsychotic drugs, says Stanford researcher
4. Smokeless Tobacco Use Widespread in Some States
5. Widespread parental misuse of medicines puts children at risk
6. Top Researcher Writes on Autism for Britannica; Baron-Cohen, Others, Report on Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of Widespread Condition
7. Widespread Public Defibrillators May Save Lives
8. Teens With Food Allergies May Feel Unsafe at School
9. Preschool kids know what they like: Salt, sugar and fat
10. Friends a Big Influence on Grades in Middle School: Study
11. Med School Grads May Not Be Ready for Primary Care
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Widespread school closures needed to stop strain on hospitals during epidemics
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... serving communities in the greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing an ... to overcome a rare and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since birth ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... As health professionals work to improve their approach to healthcare, ... doing more than filling out a survey; in many cases health professionals and patients ... health care and research on the importance of active engagement with patients and members ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of Directors has selected ... Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve in the position ... the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and CEO on January ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX ... CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will ... and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office of Somekh & ... and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office remain up to ... with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel was founded ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ® , ... the promise of precision medicine, today announced that St. ... Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 th ... St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help develop standards ... of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more precise and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly anticipated ... for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire Mobile ... the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering of ... ... By ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , Oct. 5, 2017  In response ... of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing ... – to be used as a first-line therapy ... Recognizing the ... AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: