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Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Jun 1;50(11):1498-504. doi: 10.1086/652446.

Fatalities associated with the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus in New York city.

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Bureau of Communicable Disease, Division of Disease Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, USA.



When the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus emerged in the United States, epidemiologic and clinical information about severe and fatal cases was limited. We report the first 47 fatal cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza in New York City.


The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducted enhanced surveillance for hospitalizations and deaths associated with 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus. We collected basic demographic and clinical information for all patients who died and compared abstracted data from medical records for a sample of hospitalized patients who died and hospitalized patients who survived.


From 24 April through 1 July 2009, 47 confirmed fatal cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza were reported to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Most decedents (60%) were ages 18-49 years, and only 4% were aged 65 years. Many (79%) had underlying risk conditions for severe seasonal influenza, and 58% were obese according to their body mass index. Thirteen (28%) had evidence of invasive bacterial coinfection. Approximately 50% of the decedents had developed acute respiratory distress syndrome. Among all hospitalized patients, decedents had presented for hospitalization later (median, 3 vs 2 days after illness onset; P < .05) and received oseltamivir later (median, 6.5 vs 3 days; P < .01) than surviving patients. Hospitalized patients who died were less likely to have received oseltamivir within 2 days of hospitalization than hospitalized patients who survived (61% vs 96%; P < .01).


With community-wide transmission of 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus, timely medical care and antiviral therapy should be considered for patients with severe influenza-like illness or with underlying risk conditions for complications from influenza.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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