[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the start of the 2009 influenza A pandemic (H1N1pdm), the World Health Organization and its member states have gathered information to characterize the clinical severity of H1N1pdm infection and to assist policy makers to determine risk groups for targeted control measures.
Data were collected on approximately 70,000 laboratory-confirmed hospitalized H1N1pdm patients, 9,700 patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), and 2,500 deaths reported between 1 April 2009 and 1 January 2010 from 19 countries or administrative regions--Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, the United States, and the United Kingdom--to characterize and compare the distribution of risk factors among H1N1pdm patients at three levels of severity: hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths. The median age of patients increased with severity of disease. The highest per capita risk of hospitalization was among patients <5 y and 5-14 y (relative risk [RR] = 3.3 and 3.2, respectively, compared to the general population), whereas the highest risk of death per capita was in the age groups 50-64 y and ≥65 y (RR = 1.5 and 1.6, respectively, compared to the general population). Similarly, the ratio of H1N1pdm deaths to hospitalizations increased with age and was the highest in the ≥65-y-old age group, indicating that while infection rates have been observed to be very low in the oldest age group, risk of death in those over the age of 64 y who became infected was higher than in younger groups. The proportion of H1N1pdm patients with one or more reported chronic conditions increased with severity (median = 31.1%, 52.3%, and 61.8% of hospitalized, ICU-admitted, and fatal H1N1pdm cases, respectively). With the exception of the risk factors asthma, pregnancy, and obesity, the proportion of patients with each risk factor increased with severity level. For all levels of severity, pregnant women in their third trimester consistently accounted for the majority of the total of pregnant women. Our findings suggest that morbid obesity might be a risk factor for ICU admission and fatal outcome (RR = 36.3).
Our results demonstrate that risk factors for severe H1N1pdm infection are similar to those for seasonal influenza, with some notable differences, such as younger age groups and obesity, and reinforce the need to identify and protect groups at highest risk of severe outcomes. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
PLoS Medicine 07/2011; 8(7):e1001053. · 15.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following the emergence of a novel strain of influenza A(H1N1) in Mexico and the United States in April 2009, its epidemiology in Europe during the summer was limited to sporadic and localised outbreaks. Only the United Kingdom experienced widespread transmission declining with school holidays in late July. Using statistical modelling where applicable we explored the following causes that could explain this surprising difference in transmission dynamics: extinction by chance, differences in the susceptibility profile, age distribution of the imported cases, differences in contact patterns, mitigation strategies, school holidays and weather patterns. No single factor was able to explain the differences sufficiently. Hence an additive mixed model was used to model the country-specific weekly estimates of the effective reproductive number using the extinction probability, school holidays and weather patterns as explanatory variables. The average extinction probability, its trend and the trend in absolute humidity were found to be significantly negatively correlated with the effective reproduction number - although they could only explain about 3% of the variability in the model. By comparing the initial epidemiology of influenza A (H1N1) across different European countries, our analysis was able to uncover a possible role for the timing of importations (extinction probability), mixing patterns and the absolute humidity as underlying factors. However, much uncertainty remains. With better information on the role of these epidemiological factors, the control of influenza could be improved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The soon to come the availability of a combined MMR-varicella vaccine has re-stimulated the debate around universal infant vaccination against varicella. In France, the incidence of varicella is estimated at about 700,000 cases per year, with approximately 3500 hospitalisations and 15-25 deaths, the latter mainly occurring in those over 15years. Vaccination would certainly decrease the overall incidence of the disease but concerns about vaccination leading to a shift in the average age at infection followed by an increase in incidence of severe cases and congenital varicella, still remain. In order to provide support for decision-making, a dynamic mathematical model of varicella virus transmission was used to predict the effect of different vaccination strategies and coverages on the epidemiology of varicella and zoster.
A deterministic realistic age-structured model was adapted to the French situation. Epidemiological parameters were estimated from literature or surveillance data. Various vaccine coverages and vaccination strategies were investigated. A sensitivity analysis of varicella incidence predictions was performed to test the impact of changes in the vaccine parameters and age-specific mixing patterns.
The model confirms that the overall incidence and morbidity of varicella would likely be reduced by mass vaccination of 12-month-old children. Whatever the coverage and the vaccine strategy, the vaccination will cause a shift in age distribution with, for vaccination coverage up to at least 80% in the base-case analysis, an increased morbidity among adults and pregnant women. However, the total number of deaths and hospitalisations from varicella is predicted to remain below that expected without vaccination. The model is very sensitive to the matrix of contacts used and to the parameters describing vaccine effectiveness. Zoster incidence will increase over a number of decades followed by a decline to below prevaccination levels.
Mass varicella vaccination, in France, will result in an overall reduction of varicella incidence but will cause a shift in age distribution with an increase in adult cases. Due to the uncertainties in key parameters values, the exact magnitude of this shift is difficult to assess.
Revue d Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique 11/2008; 56(5):323-31. · 0.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Legionnaires' disease (LD) is an aetiology of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia in adults, with a high case-fatality ratio (CFR). We conducted a matched case-control study to identify risk factors for sporadic, community-acquired LD. Cases of sporadic, community-acquired and biologically confirmed LD, in metropolitan France from 1 September 2002 to 31 September 2004, were matched with a control subject according to age, sex, underlying illness and location of residence within 5 km. We performed a conditional logistic regression on various host-related factors and exposures. Analysis was done on 546 matched pairs. The CFR was 3.5%. Age ranged from 18-93 years (mean 57 years), with a 3.6 male:female sex ratio. Cases were more likely to have smoked with the documentation of a dose-effect relation, to have travelled with a stay in a hotel (OR 6.1, 95% CI 2.6-14.2), or to have used a wash-hand basin for personal hygiene (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.6-7.7) than controls. Tobacco and travel have been previously described as risk factors for LD, but this is the first time that such a dose-effect for tobacco has been documented among sporadic cases. These findings will provide helpful knowledge about LD and help practitioners in identifying patients at high risk.
Epidemiology and Infection 02/2008; 136(12):1684-90. · 2.87 Impact Factor