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:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in ... ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered ... The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now ... of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law ... magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are ... , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... SYDNEY , June 26, 2016 One of ... , has announced the formation of a new biotechnology company, Noxopharm ... raise $6m in an IPO and to list on the ASX. ... drug candidate, NOX66, ready to enter a Phase 1 clinical study ... been designed to address one of the biggest problems facing cancer ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) ... Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with respect ... Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June 24, ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer for ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ) reported today ... to build a strong and stable market for trading ... the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. Explains ... seeing an anomaly in market trading activities that may ... Company, but shareholders and market players as well. I ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: