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Abstract zur Publikation: Unchanged severity of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection in children during first postpandemic season

Altmann M, Fiebig L, Buda S, von Kries R, Dehnert M, Haas W (2012): Unchanged severity of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection in children during first postpandemic season.
Emerg. Inf. Dis. 18 (11): 1755–1762. doi: 10.3201/eid1811.120719.

We conducted a nationwide hospital-based prospective study in Germany of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 cases among children <15 years of age admitted to pediatric intensive care units and related deaths during the 2009–10 pandemic and the 2010–11 postpandemic influenza seasons. We identified 156 eligible patients: 112 in 2009–10 and 44 in 2010–11. Although a shift to younger patients occurred in 2010–11 (median age 3.2 vs. 5.3 years), infants <1 year of age remained the most affected. Underlying immunosuppression was a risk factor for hospital-acquired infections (p = 0.013), which accounted for 14% of cases. Myocarditis was predictive of death (p = 0.006). Of the 156 case-patients, 17% died; the difference between seasons was not significant (p = 0.473). Our findings stress the challenge of preventing severe postpandemic influenza infection in children and the need to prevent nosocomial transmission of influenza virus, especially in immunosuppressed children.

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