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J Infect. 2007 Jul;55(1):58-63. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Epidemiology of influenza in Hanoi, Vietnam, from 2001 to 2003.

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National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, 1 Yersin Street, Hanoi, Vietnam.



The aim of this study was to clarify the epidemiology of laboratory-confirmed influenza in Hanoi, Vietnam.


Influenza was detected by virus isolation from nasopharyngeal swabs of influenza-like-illness (ILI) patients who reported to outpatient clinics in Hanoi, Vietnam between 2001 and 2003, before the start of avian influenza A/H5N1 outbreaks. Influenza isolates were characterized by hemagglutinin inhibition test.


A total of 4708 nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from patients with ILI. Influenza was positive in 119 (2.5%) samples by virus isolation. Influenza circulated throughout the year, with possible two peaks in summer and winter. Influenza B viruses and A/H3N2 predominated in 2001 and 2002, respectively, and mixed circulation of A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B were observed in 2003. The seasonality of influenza roughly matched with clinical case reports in the North Region by National Communicable Disease Surveillance in Vietnam.


The findings of year-round and biannual peak circulation of influenza in a subtropical area were in accordance with the results of previous studies in tropical and subtropical regions. Our observations indicated that establishment of laboratory-based surveillance in tropical and sub-tropical countries is important for taking actions for pandemic strategies, and links to the WHO global influenza network.

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