H1N1 influenza hits older children

May 04, 2010

Children hospitalized with pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 were older and more likely to have underlying medical conditions than children hospitalized with seasonal influenza during prior flu seasons, according to a study to be presented Tuesday, May 4 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Population-based surveillance of 5.3 million children for laboratory-confirmed was conducted in 10 states during the 2003-2009 influenza seasons and in the early 2009 pandemic. Investigators used the data to compare the demographics, medical history and clinical course of children younger than 18 years who were hospitalized with seasonal influenza vs. those hospitalized with H1N1 flu.

Results showed the median age of children hospitalized with H1N1 influenza was 5 years, compared to 1 year for those hospitalized with seasonal flu in 2003-2009. In addition, children with asthma, hemoglobinopathies such as sickle-cell disease and a history of prematurity made up a larger proportion of all children hospitalized with H1N1 influenza than with seasonal flu. However, one-third of children hospitalized with H1N1 influenza were previously healthy.

"Our findings underscore the importance of influenza immunization in children of all ages and particularly in children with underlying medical conditions," said lead author Fatimah S. Dawood, MD, epidemic intelligence service officer, Influenza Division, (CDC). "Ensuring immunization of children at risk for hospitalization with influenza will remain critical during the upcoming 2010-2011 influenza season when the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus may continue to circulate and other seasonal influenza viruses may circulate as well."

The 2010-2011 seasonal will protect against three flu viruses, one of which is a 2009 H1N1-like .

Results also showed that compared to children hospitalized with seasonal influenza, an even higher proportion of children hospitalized with H1N1 influenza were diagnosed with pneumonia and/or required intensive care.

"These findings also support the use of early antiviral treatment in with 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza who require hospitalization," Dr. Dawood said. "Prior studies of seasonal influenza have demonstrated that antiviral treatment may improve outcomes in patients with severe influenza."

Explore further: More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale

Provided by American Academy of Pediatrics

1 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Of swine, birds and men -- pandemic H1N1 flu

Feb 01, 2010

Current research suggests that pandemic H1N1 influenza of swine origin has distinct means of transmission from the seasonal flu, yet does not result in the pathogenic severity of avian flu viruses. The related report by ...

Recommended for you

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

18 hours ago

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Egnite
5 / 5 (1) May 04, 2010
Bla bla take your vaccines, they help a few, harm a few, give the parents peace of mind and make us billions in the process. Propogandorg.com at it's finest...

More news stories

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

A sharp eye on Southern binary stars

Unlike our sun, with its retinue of orbiting planets, many stars in the sky orbit around a second star. These binary stars, with orbital periods ranging from days to centuries, have long been the primary ...