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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: EID, Vol. 16, No. 8 (August 2010)


These articles of interest will appear in the August 2010 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC's monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature emerging viral infections. The articles are embargoed until July 14, 2010, at 12:00pm EDT.

1. Effects of School Closures during Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Pennsylvania, USA

Thomas L. Gift, et al.

Closing schools is one way to potentially prevent disease spread during a flu pandemic. But where do the children go? Do they stay home, as intended? If so, do their parents have to miss work to stay home with them? When a school in Pennsylvania closed for a week during the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, researchers found that most children left the house at least once to go shopping, to attend sports events or practices, or to eat at restaurants. And although only about 20 percent of households reported that adults missed work to stay home with the children, nearly half of those who did stayed home the entire week, which was costly for them. These potential disruptions should be considered when deciding whether to close schools during future pandemics.

Contact Dr. Thomas L. Gift via:
CDC Press Office
(404) 639-3286

2. Duck Hunters' Perceptions of Risk for Avian Influenza, Georgia, USA

Hope Dishman, et al.

The highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza, or "bird flu," has not been found in birds in the United States. But researchers wondered whether the virus, which can spread from birds to people, would put duck hunters at risk should it arrive here. To find out, researchers asked duck hunters in Georgia about their common hunting practices. They found that while most hunters were aware of the virus, they did not wear gloves while processing their game. Also, many hunters get wet and some have had their whole bodies, including heads, submerged while hunting. Those who had been duck hunters for more than 10 years reported more exposure to ducks and their environment. A few hunters said that they would stop duck hunting if "bird flu" were found in ducks in the United States, and more said they would stop duck hunting if it were found in Georgia duck populations. But most said they would not stop hunting under either scenario.

Contact Hope Dishman via:
Communications Team
Acute Disease Epidemiology Section, Department of Community Health, Atlanta, GA
(404) 357-9118

3. Correlation of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Viral Load with Disease Severity and Prolonged Virus Shedding in Children

Chung-Chen Li, et al.

For seasonal flu, experts know that early treatment reduces the amount of virus in the blood (viral load), which then reduces the severity of disease symptoms. But does this hold true for pandemic H1N1 flu? To find out, researchers measured the viral load of patients with swine flu, how long virus remained in these patients, and whether it was associated with severity of disease. They found the amount of pandemic H1N1 flu virus to be highest in patients who also had pneumonia and to last the longest in patients younger than 13 years. Thus, patients with pneumonia may need more aggressive treatment, and younger children may need to be isolated longer than others to keep them from spreading virus if swine flu re-emerges this year.

Professor K.D. Yang
Department of Medical Research
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center, Taiwan
+886-7-731-7123 ext.8802

The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.



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