Population‐based surveillance for 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in Guatemala, 2009

Population‐based surveillance for 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in Guatemala, 2009

Reyes L, Arvelo W, Estevez A, Gray J, Moir J C, Gordillo B, Frenkel G, Ardón F, Moscoso F, Olsen S J, Fry A M, Lindstrom S, Lindblade K. Population-based surveillance for 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in Guatemala, 2009. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 4(3): 129–140, 2010

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4986580/

 

Description

Abstract

Background  In April 2009, 2009 pandemic influenza A H1N1 (2009 H1N1) was first identified in Mexico but did not cause widespread transmission in neighboring Guatemala until several weeks later.

Methodology and principle findings  Using a population‐based surveillance system for hospitalized pneumonia and influenza‐like illness ongoing before the 2009 H1N1 pandemic began, we tracked the onset of 2009 H1N1 infection in Guatemala. We identified 239 individuals infected with influenza A (2009 H1N1) between May and December 2009, of whom 76 were hospitalized with pneumonia and 11 died (case fatality proportion: 4·6%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2·3–8·1%). The median age of patients infected with 2009 H1N1 was 8·8 years, the median age of those hospitalized with pneumonia was 4·2 years, and five (45·5%) deaths occurred in children <5 years old. Crude rates of hospitalization between May and December 2009 were highest for children <5 years old. Twenty‐one (27·6%) of the patients hospitalized with 2009 H1N1 were admitted to the intensive care unit and eight (10·5%) required mechanical ventilation. Underlying chronic conditions were noted in 14 (18·4%) of patients with pneumonia hospitalized with 2009 H1N1 infection.

Conclusions and significance  Chronic illnesses may be underdiagnosed in Guatemala, making it difficult to identify this risk group for vaccination. Children 6 months to 5 years old should be among priority groups for vaccination to prevent serious consequences because of 2009 H1N1 infection.

 

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