Wednesday, May 25, 2011

‘Social distancing’ highly effective in stopping disease spread in pandemics: Study

According to a recently conducted study, social distancing measures during pandemics are highly effective in stopping the disease from spreading further.
Researchers analyzed the impact of the eighteen-day period of mandatory school closure in Mexico during the 2009 influenza pandemic and found that it had resulted in 29 to 37 pc reduction in the transmission rate.
Social distancing interventions can be implemented during unusual infectious disease outbreaks and include school closing, closure of movie theaters and restaurants and the cancellation of large public gatherings.
The study suggests that school closure and other measures could be useful to mitigate future influenza pandemics.
The researchers'' findings highlight variation in pandemic influenza incidence and severity among age groups. It also reveals the importance of school cycles on the transmission dynamics of this disease.
The conclusion emerges from the findings that school closure effectively reduced influenza transmission in spring 2009 in Mexico.
"We believe this study has implications for improving preparedness plans in future pandemics," said Gerardo Chowell, Fogarty investigator and faculty member at Arizona State University, Tempe.

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