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Recommendations for and compliance with social restrictions during implementation of school closures in the early phase of the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 outbreak in Melbourne, Australia

McVernon, Jodie, Mason, Kate, Petrony, Sylvia, Nathan, Paula, LaMontagne, Anthony D, Bentley, Rebecca, Fielding, James, Studdert, David M and Kavanagh, Anne M 2011, Recommendations for and compliance with social restrictions during implementation of school closures in the early phase of the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 outbreak in Melbourne, Australia, BMC Infectious diseases, vol. 11, no. Article 257, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-11-257.

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Title Recommendations for and compliance with social restrictions during implementation of school closures in the early phase of the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 outbreak in Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) McVernon, Jodie
Mason, Kate
Petrony, Sylvia
Nathan, Paula
LaMontagne, Anthony DORCID iD for LaMontagne, Anthony D orcid.org/0000-0002-5811-5906
Bentley, Rebecca
Fielding, James
Studdert, David M
Kavanagh, Anne M
Journal name BMC Infectious diseases
Volume number 11
Issue number Article 257
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, UK
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1471-2334
Keyword(s) School closures
Influenza A (H1N1)
Melbourne
Australia
Summary Background Localized reactive school and classroom closures were implemented as part of a suite of pandemic containment measures during the initial response to influenza A (H1N1) 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. Infected individuals, and those who had been in close contact with a case, were asked to stay in voluntary home quarantine and refrain from contact with visitors for seven days from the date of symptom onset or exposure to an infected person. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) was available for treatment or prophylaxis. Methods We surveyed affected families through schools involved in the closures. Analyses of responses were descriptive. We characterized recommendations made to case and contact households and quantified adherence to guidelines and antiviral therapy. Results Of the 314 respondent households, 51 contained a confirmed case. The prescribed quarantine period ranged from 1-14 days, reflecting logistic difficulties in reactive implementation relative to the stated guidelines. Household-level compliance with the requirement to stay at home was high (84.5%, 95% CI 79.3,88.5) and contact with children outside the immediate family infrequent. Conclusions Levels of compliance with recommendations in our sample were high compared with other studies, likely due to heightened public awareness of a newly introduced virus of uncertain severity. The variability of reported recommendations highlighted the difficulties inherent in implementing a targeted reactive strategy, such as that employed in Melbourne, on a large scale during a public health emergency. This study emphasizes the need to understand how public health measures are implemented when seeking to evaluate their effectiveness.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2334-11-257
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, BioMed Central
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30061285

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.