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The Underrecognized Burden of Influenza in Young Children

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  • The Underrecognized Burden of Influenza in Young Children

    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="640"> <tbody><tr> <td nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">Previous</td> <td align="center" valign="top"><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr><th align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">Volume 355:31-40</th> <td nowrap="nowrap"></td> <th nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">July 6, 2006</th> <td nowrap="nowrap"></td> <th align="left" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">Number 1</th> </tr></tbody></table></td> <td align="right" nowrap="nowrap" valign="top">Next</td> </tr> </tbody></table>

    The Underrecognized Burden of Influenza in Young Children
    <center> Katherine A. Poehling, M.D., M.P.H., Kathryn M. Edwards, M.D., Geoffrey A. Weinberg, M.D., Peter Szilagyi, M.D., M.P.H., Mary Allen Staat, M.D., M.P.H., Marika K. Iwane, Ph.D., M.P.H., Carolyn B. Bridges, M.D., Carlos G. Grijalva, M.D., M.P.H., Yuwei Zhu, M.D., David I. Bernstein, M.D., Guillermo Herrera, M.D., M.B.A., Dean Erdman, Ph.D., Caroline B. Hall, M.D., Ranee Seither, M.P.H., Marie R. Griffin, M.D., M.P.H., for the New Vaccine Surveillance Network

    ABSTRACT Background The disease burden of influenza infection among children<sup> </sup>is not well established. We conducted a population-based surveillance<sup> </sup>of medical visits associated with laboratory-confirmed influenza.<sup> </sup>
    Methods Eligible children were younger than five years of age,<sup> </sup>resided in three U.S. counties, and had a medical visit for<sup> </sup>an acute respiratory tract infection or fever. Nasal and throat<sup> </sup>swabs were tested for the influenza virus by viral culture and<sup> </sup>polymerase-chain-reaction assay. Epidemiologic data were collected<sup> </sup>from parental surveys and chart reviews. Children who were hospitalized<sup> </sup>were enrolled prospectively from 2000 through 2004. Population-based<sup> </sup>rates of hospitalizations associated with influenza were calculated.<sup> </sup>Children who were seen in selected pediatric clinics and emergency<sup> </sup>departments during two influenza seasons (2002?2003 and<sup> </sup>2003?2004) were systematically enrolled. The rates of<sup> </sup>visits to clinics and emergency departments associated with<sup> </sup>influenza were estimated.<sup> </sup>
    Results The average annual rate of hospitalization associated<sup> </sup>with influenza was 0.9 per 1000 children. The estimated burden<sup> </sup>of outpatient visits associated with influenza was 50 clinic<sup> </sup>visits and 6 emergency department visits per 1000 children during<sup> </sup>the 2002?2003 season and 95 clinic visits and 27 emergency<sup> </sup>department visits per 1000 children during the 2003?2004<sup> </sup>season. Few children who had laboratory-confirmed influenza<sup> </sup>were given a diagnosis of influenza by the treating physician<sup> </sup>in the inpatient (28 percent) or outpatient (17 percent) settings.<sup> </sup>
    Conclusions Among young children, outpatient visits associated<sup> </sup>with influenza were 10 to 250 times as common as hospitalizations.<sup> </sup>Few influenza infections were recognized clinically.<sup> </sup>
    <sup> </sup>

    Source Information
    From the Departments of Pediatrics (K.A.P., K.M.E.), Preventive Medicine (C.G.G., M.R.G.), Biostatistics (Y.Z.), and Medicine (M.R.G.), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville; the Department of Pediatrics and Strong Children's Research Center, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y. (G.A.W., P.S., C.B.H.); the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati (M.A.S., D.I.B.); and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (M.K.I., C.B.B., G.H., D.E., R.S.), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

    <!-- null --> Related Letters:
    The Underrecognized Burden of Influenza
    Conover C. S., Whitaker E. E., Ages D., Sullo D., Griffin M. R., Edwards K. M., Poehling K. A.
    Extract | Full Text | PDF
    N Engl J Med 2006; 355:1615-1616, Oct 12, 2006. Correspondence

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