Description of social contacts among student cases of pandemic influenza during the containment phase, Melbourne, Australia, 2009

Van Gemert, Caroline, McBryde, Emma S., Bergeri, Isabel, Sacks-davis, Rachel, Vally, Hassan, Spelman, Tim, Sutton, Brett, and Hellard, Margaret (2018) Description of social contacts among student cases of pandemic influenza during the containment phase, Melbourne, Australia, 2009. Western Pacific Surveillance and Response, 9 (Suppl 1). 3.

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Introduction: Students comprised the majority of early cases of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 in Melbourne, Australia. Students and school settings were targeted for public health interventions following the emergence of pH1N1. This study was conducted to describe changes in social contacts among the earliest confirmed student cases of pH1N1 in Melbourne, Australia, to inform future pandemic control policy and explore transmission model assumptions.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional behavioural study of student cases with laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 between 28 April and 3 June 2009 was conducted in 2009. Demographics, symptom onset dates and detailed information on regular and additional extracurricular activities were collected. Summary measures for activities were calculated, including median group size and median number of close contacts and attendance during the students' exposure and infectious periods or during school closures. A multivariable model was used to assess associations between rates of participation in extracurricular activities and both school closures and students' infectious periods.

Results: Among 162 eligible cases, 99 students participated. Students reported social contact in both curricular and extra-curricular activities. Group size and total number of close contacts varied. While participation in activities decreased during the students' infectious periods and during school closures, social contact was common during periods when isolation was advised and during school closures.

Discussion: This study demonstrates the potential central role of young people in pandemic disease transmission given the level of non-adherence to prevention and control measures. These finding have public health implications for both informing modelling estimates of future pandemics and targeting prevention and control strategies to young people.

Item ID: 56767
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2094-7313
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Copyright Information: van Gemert G, McBryde ES, Bergeri I, Sacks-Davis R, Vally H, Spelman T, et al. Description of social contacts among student cases of pandemic influenza during the containment phase, Melbourne, Australia, 2009. Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2018 Sep;9(5). doi:10.5365/wpsar.2018.9.5.003 License: Creative Commons BY 3.0 IGO The World Health Organization does not necessarily own each component of the content contained within these articles and does not therefore warrant that the use of any third-party-owned individual component or part contained in the articles will not infringe on the rights of those third parties. The risk of claims resulting from such infringement rests solely with you. If you wish to re-use a component of the articles attributed to a third party, it is your responsibility to determine whether permission is needed for that re-use and to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Examples of components can include, but are not limited to, tables, figures or images. Any mediation relating to disputes arising under this license shall be conducted in accordance with the WIPO Mediation Rules ( Any inquiries should be addressed to
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC grant 603753
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 07:50
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420299 Epidemiology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320211 Infectious diseases @ 50%
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