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Surveillance of hospitalizations with pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 influenza infection in Queensland, Australia

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Author(s): Hai Phung | Frank Beard | Christine Selvey | Ranil Appuhamy | Frances Birrell

Journal: Western Pacific Surveillance and Response
ISSN 2094-7321

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: pandemic | H1N1 | infection | Queensland | Australia

ABSTRACT
Objective : To describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients hospitalized with pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 infection in Queensland, Australia between 25 May and 3 October 2009 and to examine the relationship between timing of antiviral treatment and severity of illness.Method: Using data from the Queensland Health EpiLog information system, descriptive analysis and logistic regression modelling were used to describe and model factors which influence patient outcomes (death, admission to intensive care unit and/or special care unit). Data on patients admitted to hospital in Queensland with confirmed pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 infection were included in this analysis.Results: 1236 patients with pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 infection were admitted to hospitals in Queensland during the study period. Of the total group: 15% were admitted to an intensive care unit or special care unit; 3% died; 34% were under the age of 18 years and 8% were 65 years of age or older; and 55% had at least one underlying medical condition. Among the 842 patients for whom data were available regarding the use of antiviral drugs, antiviral treatment was initiated in 737 (87.5%) patients with treatment commencing at a median of one day (range 1–33 days) after onset of illness. Admission to an intensive care unit or special care unit (ICU/SCU) or death was significantly associated with increased age, lack of timeliness of antiviral treatment, chronic renal disease and morbid obesity.Discussion: Early antiviral treatment was significantly associated with lower likelihood of ICU/SCU admission or death. Early antiviral treatment for influenza cases may therefore have important public health implications.

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