An outbreak of 2009 pandemic influenza a (H1N1) virus infection in an elementary school in Pennsylvania

Tiffany L. Marchbanks, Achuyt Bhattarai, Ryan P. Fagan, Stephen Ostroff, Samir V. Sodha, Mria E. Moll, Bruce Y. Lee, Chung Chou H. Chang, Brent Ennis, Phyllis Britz, Anthony Fiore, Michael Nguyen, Rakhee Palekar, W. Roodly Archer, Thomas L. Gift, Rebecca Leap, Benjamin L. Nygren, Simon Cauchemez, Frederick J. Angulo, David Swerdlow

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21 Scopus citations


In May 2009, one of the earliest outbreaks of 2009 pandemic influenza A virus (pH1N1) infection resulted in the closure of a semi-rural Pennsylvania elementary school. Two sequential telephone surveys were administered to 1345 students (85% of the students enrolled in the school) and household members in 313 households to collect data on influenza-like illness (ILI). A total of 167 persons (12.4%) among those in the surveyed households, including 93 (24.0%) of the School A students, reported ILI. Students were 3.1 times more likely than were other household members to develop ILI (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-4.1). Fourth-grade students were more likely to be affected than were students in other grades (relative risk, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-3.9). pH1N1 was confirmed in 26 (72.2%) of the individuals tested by real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The outbreak did not resume upon the reopening of the school after the 7-day closure. This investigation found that pH1N1 outbreaks at schools can have substantial attack rates; however, grades and classrooms are affected variably. Additioanl study is warranted to determine the effectiveness of school closure during outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S154-S160
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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