The effect of COVID-19 stay-at-home order and campus closure on the prevalence of acute respiratory infection symptoms in college campus cohorts

Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2021 May;15(3):331-335. doi: 10.1111/irv.12837. Epub 2021 Mar 4.


Evaluation of population-based COVID-19 control measures informs strategies to quell the current pandemic and reduce the impact of those yet to come. Effective COVID-19 control measures may simultaneously reduce the incidence of other acute respiratory infections (ARIs) due to shared transmission modalities. To assess the impact of stay-at-home orders and other physical distancing measures on the prevalence of ARI-related symptoms, we compared symptoms reported by prospective college cohorts enrolled during two consecutive academic years. ARI-related symptoms declined following campus closure and implementation of stay-at-home orders, demonstrating the impact of population-based physical distancing measures on control of a broad range of respiratory infections.

Keywords: ARI; COVID-19; influenza; lockdown; transmission mitigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Distancing
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Young Adult