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INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL CLOSURE ON THE INCIDENCE OF VIRAL RESPIRATORY DISEASES AMONG CHILDREN AND ON HEALTH CARE UTILIZATION

Heymann, Anthony MBBS*; Chodick, Gabriel MScMHA*; Reichman, Brian MBChB†; Kokia, Ehud MD*; Laufer, Joseph MD†

Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: July 2004 - Volume 23 - Issue 7 - pp 675-677
Brief Reports

We evaluated the effect of school closure on the occurrence of respiratory infection among children ages 6–12 years and its impact on health care services. During this period, there were significant decreases in the diagnoses of respiratory infections (42%), visits to physician (28%) and emergency departments (28%) and medication purchases (35%). The present study provides quantitative data to support school closure during an influenza pandemic.

From the *Department of Community Medicine, Maccabi Healthcare Services and the †Department of Pediatrics B, The Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel

Accepted for publication February 18, 2004.

Address for reprints: Joseph Laufer, MD, Department of Pediatrics B, The Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer 52621, Israel. Fax 972-3-6355178; E-mail lauferj@post.tau.ac.il

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.