The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and Minnesota's K-12 schools: public health lessons learned

Como-Sabetti, K.; Livingston, F.; Gahr, P.; Nagle, K.; Martin, K.; Morin, C.; Parilla, E.

Minnesota Medicine 93(9): 36-40

2010


ISSN/ISBN: 0026-556X
PMID: 20957924
Document Number: 15195
Prior to 2009, influenza pandemic planners had primarily planned for a virus that would originate in a location other than North America, giving public health officials in the United States time to determine its severity before widespread disease occurred here. Thus, response plans for schools focused on closure in the case of a severe pandemic and potential closure in the event of a moderate one. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic, however, presented a different scenario. The severity of 2009 H1N1 was initially unknown and later was determined to be mild to moderate. Thus, as the pandemic unfolded, state and national public health entities found themselves adapting their recommendations for school closure. This article reviews Minnesota's experience with 2009 H1N1, focusing on the pandemic among school-aged children during the spring (April to August 2009) and fall (September 2009 to April 2010), and it chronicles how outbreak surveillance policies and recommendations for K-12 schools changed over the course of the pandemic.

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The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and Minnesota's K-12 schools: public health lessons learned