Objectives: On May 23, 2009, a school was closed for one week plus mass chemoprophylaxis to contain the pandemic after a kindergartener tested positive for pandemic influenza A/H1N1. We evaluated the impact of school closure on the students, families, and the school.
Methods: Households were surveyed using a questionnaire to obtain information on adherence to, socio-economic impact by and inconveniences of school closure. The school principal was interviewed to assess the impact on the staff. Compliance and adverse events of chemoprophylaxis were assessed.
Results: Of the 232 (14%) households surveyed, 29 (13%) went to public places or gatherings at least once during the closure. Sixty-one (27%) of 229 respondents reported workplace absenteeism, and 42 (18%) of 231 respondents had wage loss. In total, 194 working days lost and 6433 US dollars wage lost were noted. The school put in 6573 h of manpower during the period. For chemoprophylaxis, 6 (6%) kindergartners missed at least one dose; and 6 (6%) reported adverse events, but none sought medical care. Overall, 169 (73%) families were at least moderately supportive of school closure.
Conclusions: With assistance from the school, short-term school closure was supported by the majority of families despite economic inconvenience to the households.
Copyright © 2011 The British Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.