Younger Children Have Longer H1N1 Viral Shedding Period

During pandemic-caused school closure, many youths leave the home and parents miss work
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Children under 13 years of age shed the 2009 H1N1 virus longer than other age groups, posing a higher risk for spreading the virus; yet, closing schools during a flu pandemic has limited effectiveness for isolating children, according to two studies published in the August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Chung-Chen Li, M.D., and colleagues from the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center in Taiwan measured the viral load of 1,052 patients, including 602 with confirmed H1N1 infection who received oseltamivir treatment for five days. The researchers measured the duration of high viral load and its association with disease severity. They found that the H1N1 virus persisted longest in patients younger than 13 and was highest in patients who also had pneumonia. The researchers concluded that younger children should be isolated longer to prevent spreading the virus, and that patients with pneumonia may need more aggressive treatment.

In a second study, Thomas L. Gift, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues surveyed 214 households following the weeklong closure of a Pennsylvania elementary school in May 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic. The survey revealed that 69 percent of the students had visited at least one other location during the school closure, such as stores, sports events or practices, and restaurants. Twenty-two percent of parents reported missing work to stay home with their children during the school closure, with approximately 40 percent of these parents missing work for all five days of the closure.

"These findings add to the body of literature on the effects of school closure on households. They can be used by decision makers, as well as parents, to assess the potential social disruption of school closure in the context of future influenza outbreaks," Gift and colleagues conclude.

Full Text - Li
Full Text - Gift

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95

Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95

Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events