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Influenza A. H1N1) in Victoria, Australia: a community case series and analysis of household transmission

By Clare Looker, Kylie Carville, Kristina Grant and Heath Kelly


Background: We characterise the clinical features and household transmission of pandemic influenza A (pH1N1) in community cases from Victoria, Australia in 2009. Methods: Questionnaires were used to collect information on epidemiological characteristics, illness features and comorbidities of cases identified in the 2009 Victorian Influenza Sentinel Surveillance program. Results: The median age of 132 index cases was 21 years, of whom 54 (41%) were under 18 years old and 28 (21%) had medical co-morbidities. The median symptom duration was significantly shorter for children who received antivirals than in those who did not (p = 0.03). Assumed influenza transmission was observed in 63 (51%) households. Influenza-like illness (ILI) developed in 115 of 351 household contacts, a crude secondary attack rate of 33%. Increased ILI rates were seen in households with larger numbers of children but not larger numbers of adults. Multivariate analysis indicated contacts of cases with cough and diarrhoea, and contacts in quarantined households were significantly more likely to develop influenza-like symptoms. Conclusion: Most cases of pH1N1 in our study were mild with similar clinical characteristics to seasonal influenza. Illness and case features relating to virus excretion, age and household quarantine may have influenced secondary ILI rates withi

Year: 2013
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