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School closures reduced social mixing of children during COVID-19 with implications for transmission risk and school reopening policiesSchool closures may reduce the size of social networks among children, potentially limiting infectious disease transmission. To estimate the impact of K–12 closures and reopening policies on children's social interactions and COVID-19 incidence in California's Bay Area, we collected data on children's social contacts and assessed implications for transmission using an individual-based model. Elementary and Hispanic children had more contacts during closures than high school and non-Hispanic children, respectively. We estimated that spring 2020 closures of elementary schools averted 2167 cases in the Bay Area (95% CI: −985, 5572), fewer than middle (5884; 95% CI: 1478, 11.550), high school (8650; 95% CI: 3054, 15 940) and workplace (15 813; 95% CI: 9963, 22 617) closures. Under assumptions of moderate community transmission, we estimated that reopening for a four-month semester without any precautions will increase symptomatic illness among high school teachers (an additional 40.7% expected to experience symptomatic infection, 95% CI: 1.9, 61.1), middle school teachers (37.2%, 95% CI: 4.6, 58.1) and elementary school teachers (4.1%, 95% CI: −1.7, 12.0). However, we found that reopening policies for elementary schools that combine universal masking with classroom cohorts could result in few within-school transmissions, while high schools may require masking plus a staggeredmore »
Childhood diarrheal disease causes significant morbidity and mortality in low and middle-income countries, yet our ability to accurately predict diarrhea incidence remains limited. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been shown to affect diarrhea dynamics in South America and Asia. However, understanding of its effects in sub-Saharan Africa, where the burden of under-5 diarrhea is high, remains inadequate. Here we investigate the connections between ENSO, local environmental conditions, and childhood diarrheal disease in Chobe District, Botswana. Our results demonstrate that La Niña conditions are associated with cooler temperatures, increased rainfall, and higher flooding in the Chobe region during the rainy season. In turn, La Niña conditions lagged 0–5 months are associated with higher than average incidence of under-5 diarrhea in the early rainy season. These findings demonstrate the potential use of ENSO as a long-lead prediction tool for childhood diarrhea in southern Africa.