What are the CDC recommendations for controlling the spread of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in community settings?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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The CDC recommends the following actions when human infection with H1N1 influenza (swine flu) is confirmed in a community [1] :

  • Household contacts who are not ill

    • Remain home at the earliest sign of illness.

    • Minimize contact in the community to the extent possible.

    • Designate a single household family member as caregiver for the patient to minimize interactions with asymptomatic persons.

  • School dismissal and childcare facility closure

    • Strong consideration should be given to close schools upon a confirmed case of H1N1 flu or a suspected case epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case.

    • Decisions regarding broader school dismissal within these communities should be left to local authorities, taking into account the extent of influenzalike illness within the community.

    • Cancelation of all school or childcare related gatherings should also be announced.

    • Encourage parents and students to avoid congregating outside of the school if school is canceled.

    • Duration of schools and childcare facilities closings should be evaluated on an ongoing basis depending on epidemiological findings.

    • Consultation with local or state health departments is essential for guidance concerning when to reopen schools. If no additional confirmed or suspected cases are identified among students (or school-based personnel) for a period of 7 days, schools may consider reopening.

    • Schools and childcare facilities in unaffected areas should begin preparation for possible school closure.

  • Social distancing

    • Large gatherings linked to settings or institutions with laboratory-confirmed cases should be canceled (eg, sporting events or concerts linked to a school with cases); other large gatherings in the community may not need to be canceled at this time.

    • Additional social distancing measures are currently not recommended.

    • Persons with underlying medical conditions who are at high risk for complications of influenza should consider avoiding large gatherings.

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