Characteristics of Hospitalized Cases with Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 Infection during First Winter Season of Post-Pandemic in China

Xu, Cuiling; Iuliano, A. Danielle; Chen, Min; Cheng, Po-Yung; Chen, Tao; Shi, Jinghong; Yang, Jing; Wang, Lijie; Yuan, Fan; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; Shu, Yuelong
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 (2009 H1N1) re-circulated as the predominant virus from January through February 2011 in China. National surveillance of 2009 H1N1 as a notifiable disease was maintained to monitor potential changes in disease severity from the previous season. Methodology/Principal Findings: To describe the characteristics of hospitalized cases with 2009 H1N1 infection and analyze risk factors for severe illness during the 2010–2011winter season in China, we obtained surveillance data from hospitalized cases with 2009 H1N1 infection from November 2010 through May 2011, and reviewed medical records from 701 hospitalized cases. Age-standardized risk ratios were used to compare the age distribution of patients that were hospitalized and died due to 2009 H1N1 between the 2010–2011winter season to those during the 2009–2010 pandemic period. During the 2010–2011 winter season, children less than 5 years of age had the highest relative risk of hospitalization and death, followed by adults aged 65 years or older. Additionally, the relative risk of hospitalized cases aged 5–14 and 15–24 years was lower compared to children less than 5 years of age. During the winter season of 2010–2011, the proportions of adults aged 25 years or older for hospitalization and death were significantly higher than those during the 2009–2010 pandemic period. Being male, having a chronic medical condition, delayed hospital admission (≥3 days from onset) or delayed initiation of antiviral treatment (≥5 days from onset) were associated with severe illness among non-pregnant patients ≥2 years of age. Conclusions/Significance: We observed a change in high risk groups for hospitalization for 2009 H1N1 during the winter months immediately following the pandemic period compared to the high risk groups identified during the pandemic period. Our nationally notifiable disease surveillance system enabled us to understand the evolving epidemiology of 2009 H1N1 infection after the pandemic period.


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