2009 Pandemic Influenza A H1N1 in Alaska: Temporal and Geographic Characteristics of Spread and Increased Risk of Hospitalization among Alaska Native and Asian/Pacific Islander People

Wenger, Jay D.; Castrodale, Louisa J.; Bruden, Dana L.; Keck, James W.; Zulz, Tammy; Bruce, Michael G.; Fearey, Donna A.; McLaughlin, Joe; Hurlburt, Debby; Hummel, Kim Boyd; Kitka, Sassa; Bentley, Steve; Thomas, Timothy K.; Singleton, Rosalyn; Redd, John T.; Layne, Larry; Cheek, James E.; Hennessy, Thomas W.
January 2011
Clinical Infectious Diseases;2011, Vol. 52 Issue suppl_1, pS189
Academic Journal
Alaska Native people have suffered disproportionately from previous influenza pandemics. We evaluated 3 separate syndromic data sources to determine temporal and geographic patterns of spread of 2009 pandemic influenza A H1N1 (pH1N1) in Alaska, and reviewed records from persons hospitalized with pH1N1 disease in 3 areas in Alaska to characterize clinical and epidemiologic features of disease in Alaskans. A wave of pH1N1 disease swept through Alaska beginning in most areas in August or early September. In rural regions, where Alaska Native people comprise a substantial proportion of the population, disease occurred earlier than in other regions. Alaska Native people and Asian/Pacific Islanders (A/PI) were 2-4 times more likely to be hospitalized than whites. Alaska Native people and other minorities remain at high risk for early and substantial morbidity from pandemic influenza episodes. These findings should be integrated into plans for distribution and use of vaccine and antiviral agents.


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