by Drosos E. Karageorgopoulos, Evridiki K. Vouloumanou, Ioanna P. Korbila, Anastasios Kapaskelis, Matthew E. Falagas
Several aspects of the epidemiology of 2009 (H1N1) pandemic influenza have not been accurately determined. We sought to study whether the age distribution of cases differs in comparison with seasonal influenza. Methods
We searched for official, publicly available data through the internet from different countries worldwide on the age distribution of cases of influenza during the 2009 (H1N1) pandemic influenza period and most recent seasonal influenza periods. Data had to be recorded through the same surveillance system for both compared periods. Results
For 2009 pandemic influenza versus recent influenza seasons, in USA, visits for influenza-like illness to sentinel providers were more likely to involve the age groups of 5–24, 25–64 and 0–4 years compared with the reference group of >64 years [odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI)): 2.43 (2.39–2.47), 1.66 (1.64–1.69), and 1.51 (1.48–1.54), respectively]. Pediatric deaths were less likely in the age groups of 2–4 and <2 years than the reference group of 5–17 years [OR (95% CI): 0.46 (0.25–0.85) and 0.49 (0.30–0.81), respectively]. In Australia, notifications for laboratory-confirmed influenza were more likely in the age groups of 10–19, 5–9, 20–44, 45–64 and 0–4 years than the reference group of >65 years [OR (95% CI): 7.19 (6.67–7.75), 5.33 (4.90–5.79), 5.04 (4.70–5.41), 3.12 (2.89–3.36) and 1.89 (1.75–2.05), respectively]. In New Zealand, consultations for influenza-like illness by sentinel providers were more likely in the age groups of <1, 1–4, 35–49, 5–19, 20–34 and 50–64 years than the reference group of >65 years [OR (95% CI): 2.38 (1.74–3.26), 1.99 (1.62–2.45), 1.57 (1.30–1.89), 1.57 (1.30–1.88), 1.40 (1.17–1.69) and 1.39 (1.14–1.70), respectively]. Conclusions
The greatest increase in influenza cases during 2009 (H1N1) pandemic influenza period, in comparison with most recent seasonal influenza periods, was seen for school-aged children, adolescents, and younger adults.