School closures to reduce the transmission of influenza
Citation: Jackson C, Vynnycky E, Hawker J, et al. School closures and influenza: systematic review of epidemiological studies. BMJ Open 2013; 3(2): e002149
What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on schools and the services they provide. Existing research on school closure during influenza outbreaks may provide information to help policy makers with this.
What was found: School closure reduced transmission of seasonal and pandemic influenza among school children, in some studies.
Influenza incidence increased in some studies when schools reopened.
School closure often occurred late in the outbreaks and it is unclear whether this influenced the decline in influenza.
The optimum timing and duration of closure are uncertain because studies differed in several respects, including whether individual schools closed or school closure was widespread.
In most of the pandemic influenza studies, other interventions were used in addition to school closures, which may also have contributed to a reduction in incidence.
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