Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus outbreak in a school in London, April-May 2009: An observational study

L. Calatayud, S. Kurkela, P. E. Neave, A. Brock, S. Perkins, M. Zuckerman, M. Sudhanva, Alison Bermingham, Joanna Ellis, Richard Pebody, Mike Catchpole, R. Heathcock, Helen Maguire

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51 Citations (Scopus)


On 29 April 2009, an imported case of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection was detected in a London school. As further cases, pupils and staff members were identified, school closure and mass prophylaxis were implemented. An observational descriptive study was conducted to provide an insight into the clinical presentation and transmission dynamics in this setting. Between 15 April and 15 May 2009, 91 symptomatic cases were identified: 33 were confirmed positive for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection; 57 were tested negative; in one the results were unavailable. Transmission occurred first within the school, and subsequently outside. Attack rates were 2% in pupils (15% in the 11-12 years age group) and 17% in household contacts. The predominant symptoms were fever (97%), respiratory symptoms (91%), and sore throat (79%). Limited spread in the school may have been due to a combination of school closure and mass prophylaxis. However, transmission continued through household contacts to other schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Infection control
  • Infection transmission
  • Outbreaks
  • Respiratory infections
  • Swine-origin influenza A H1N1 virus


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