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Epidemiological characteristics of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 and seasonal influenza infection

Epidemiological characteristics of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 and seasonal influenza infection

Medical Journal of Australia 191(3): 146-149

The median age of patients with pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 infection was reported as 20-25 years in initial case series from Europe and the United States. This has been lowered to 13 years in the US after testing of more patients, but this may reflect differential increased testing of school-aged children as part of the pandemic response. The median age of patients with seasonal influenza A(H1N1) infection identified through sentinel surveillance in Western Australia and Victoria in 2007-2008 was 18 and 22 years, respectively. For pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 infection, the median age of the first 244 patients identified in WA was 22 years, and median age of the first 135 patients identified through sentinel surveillance in Victoria was 21 years. Other comparisons of the epidemiological features of pandemic and seasonal influenza are difficult because much less laboratory testing is done for seasonal than for pandemic influenza. While early surveillance data indicated co-circulation of both pandemic and seasonal strains in WA and Victoria, more recent data from both states indicate an increasing predominance of pandemic influenza. If the evolving pandemic allows, we should take advantage of the increased testing being conducted for pandemic influenza to learn more about the real impact of laboratory-confirmed seasonal influenza.

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Accession: 053006169

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PMID: 19645642

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