Household economic impact and attitudes toward school closures in two cities in Argentina during the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic
Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
Volume 7, Issue 6, pages 1308–1315, November 2013
How to Cite
Basurto-Dávila, R., Garza, R., Meltzer, M. I., Carlino, O. L., Albalak, R., Orellano, P. W., Uez, O., Shay, D. K., Santandrea, C., Weis, M. d. C., Averhoff, F. and Widdowson, M.-A. (2013), Household economic impact and attitudes toward school closures in two cities in Argentina during the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 7: 1308–1315. doi: 10.1111/irv.12054
- Issue published online: 5 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
- Accepted 26 September 2012. Published Online 23 November 2012.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Pan American Health Organization
- Costs and cost analysis;
- healthcare economics;
- prevention and control
Please cite this paper as: Basurto-Dávila et al. (2012) Household economic impact and attitudes toward school closures in two cities in Argentina during the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses. DOI: 10.1111/irv.12054.
Background School closures were widely implemented in Argentina during the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic.
Objectives To assess the economic impact of school closures on households, their effectiveness in preventing children from engaging in social group activities, and parental attitudes toward them.
Methods Three schools that closed for 2 weeks in response to the pandemic were identified in two socioeconomically distinct cities in Argentina. All households with children enrolled in these schools were surveyed. Direct and indirect costs attributable to closures were estimated from the household perspective. Other information collected included children activities during the closures and parental attitudes toward the intervention.
Results Completed questionnaires were returned by 45% of surveyed households. Direct and indirect costs due to closures represented 11% of imputed monthly household income in the city with lower socioeconomic status, and 3% in the other city (P = 0·01). Non-childcare expenses and loss of workdays were more common in the city with lower socioeconomic status. Childcare expenses were less common and were experienced by a similar percentage of households in both cities. About three-quarters of respondents in both cities agreed with the closures. The main concern among those who disagreed with closures was their negative impact on education. Children in more than two-thirds of affected households left their home at least once during the closures to spend time in public places.
Conclusion School closures may more significantly impact low-income households. Authorities should consider the range of economic impacts of school closures among families when planning their implementation.