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Public Health Journal Encourages Closing Schools For at Least 8 Weeks in a Pandemic

Pandemic computer simulations now suggest that at least 8-weeks of school closures and possibly quarantining students in their homes would be an effective course of action to significantly decrease the spread of infection.

The authors claim that closing schools for less than two weeks during a flu pandemic may increase infection rates and prolong an epidemic, say University of Pittsburgh researchers in a study published ahead-of-print and online in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. The conclusions are based on strictly simulated models and do not represent practical or applied pandemic principles.

The scientific models are formed around researchers expressing their opinions on models which have never been practically applied to any infectious disease or pandemic. They typically refer to other pseudoscientific models which have no historical foundation, are extremely abstract or very poorly studied with the lowest scientific rationale imaginable.

"Although closing schools may seem like a reasonable way to slow the spread of flu, we found that it was not effective unless sustained for at least eight weeks after implementation," said study lead author, Bruce Lee, M.D., M.B.A., assistant professor or medicine, epidemiology and biomedical informatics, University of Pittsburgh.

Again, the statement by Lee has no foundation or supporting evidence in any practical setting. The conclusions are just as imaginary as the simulated model.

Lee claims that closing schools quickly at the start of an outbreak was much less important than keeping them closed continually throughout the epidemic.

According to study authors, short-duration school closures can increase transmission rates by returning susceptible students back to school in the middle of an epidemic when they are most vulnerable to infection.

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.



January 6, 2010

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