INTRODUCTION: While there is much information about the burden of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 in North America, little data exist on its burden in South America.
METHODS: During April to December 2009, we actively searched for persons with severe acute respiratory infection and influenza-like illness (ILI) in three sentinel cities. A proportion of case-patients provided swabs for influenza testing. We estimated the number of case-patients that would have tested positive for influenza by multiplying the number of untested case-patients by the proportion who tested positive. We estimated rates by dividing the estimated number of case-patients by the census population after adjusting for the proportion of case-patients with missing illness onset information and ILI case-patients who visited physicians multiple times for one illness event.
RESULTS: We estimated that the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 mortality rate per 100,000 person-years (py) ranged from 1.5 among persons aged 5-44 years to 5.6 among persons aged ≥ 65 years. A(H1N1)pdm09 hospitalization rates per 100,000 py ranged between 26.9 among children aged <5 years to 41.8 among persons aged ≥ 65 years. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 ILI rates per 100 py ranged between 1.6 among children aged <5 to 17.1 among persons aged 45-64 years. While 9 (53%) of 17 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 decedents with available data had obesity and 7 (17%) of 40 had diabetes, less than 4% of surviving influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 case-patients had these pre-existing conditions (p ≤ 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 caused a similar burden of disease in Argentina as in other countries. Such disease burden suggests the potential value of timely influenza vaccinations.
- Child, Preschool
- Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics
- Influenza, Human/complications
- Middle Aged
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/complications