Posted by: kenwbudd | May 4, 2010

H1N1 influenza hits older children

H1N1 influenza hits older children | ScienceBlog.com

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

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

Results showed the median age of children hospitalised with H1N1 influenza was 5 years, compared to 1 year for those hospitalised 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 hospitalised with H1N1 influenza than with seasonal flu. However, one-third of children hospitalised with H1N1 influenza were previously healthy.

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