Jané M, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of children hospitalized due to influenza A and B in the south of Europe, 2010-2016. Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 6;9(1):12853.
Influenza produces annual epidemics that affect 5-15% of the world population. Complications and hospitalizations are more frequent in childhood. This study describes and analyses the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of children hospitalized due to confirmed influenza in influenza surveillance sentinel hospitals in Catalonia. Retrospective descriptive study conducted in six influenza seasons (2010-2011 to 2015-2016) in persons aged 0-17 years diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed influenza requiring hospitalization. 291 cases were notified to the health authorities: 79.4% were due to the influenza A virus and 20.6% to the B virus. The most common subtype was H1N1 with 57.6% of cases: 52.6% were male, 56.7% were aged <2 years, and 24.4% were aged <1 year. 62.2% of cases had pneumonia, 26.8% acute respiratory distress syndrome and 11.7% bacterial pneumonia. 5.8% of cases were vaccinated and 21.3% required intensive care unit admission, of whom 54.8% were aged <2 years. There were 3 deaths, all with influenza A infection. Influenza A cases were younger than influenza B cases (OR 3.22; 95% CI: 1.73-6.00). Conclusion: Children aged <2 years are especially vulnerable to the A H1N1 virus, including those without pre-existing chronic disease. These results are relevant for the planning of vaccination programs to improve maternal and child health.
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