Epidemiology of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) deaths in the United States, April-July 2009

Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Ashley FowlkesLyn Finelli

Abstract

During the spring of 2009, pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus (pH1N1) was recognized and rapidly spread worldwide. To describe the geographic distribution and patient characteristics of pH1N1-associated deaths in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested information from health departments on all laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 deaths reported from 17 April through 23 July 2009. Data were collected using medical charts, medical examiner reports, and death certificates. A total of 377 pH1N1-associated deaths were identified, for a mortality rate of .12 deaths per 100,000 population. Activity was geographically localized, with the highest mortality rates in Hawaii, New York, and Utah. Seventy-six percent of deaths occurred in persons aged 18-65 years, and 9% occurred in persons aged ≥ 65 years. Underlying medical conditions were reported for 78% of deaths: chronic lung disease among adults (39%) and neurologic disease among children (54%). Overall mortality associated with pH1N1 was low; however, the majority of deaths occurred in persons aged <65 years with underlying medical conditions.

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