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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011 May;28(4):288-93. doi: 10.3109/08880018.2010.550986. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Novel influenza a (H1N1) infection in a Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic during the 2009-2010 pandemia.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey.


Pandemic influenza A infection (2009 H1N1) was associated with a worldwide outbreak of febrile respiratory infection. Although usually it results in a mild illness, certain patient groups are at increased risk for complications. The authors reviewed their experience in a pediatric hematology-oncology unit to determine the outcome of this disease in children with hematological conditions and solid tumors. During the second outbreak (1 November 2009 to 14 January 2010), a total of 187 children from pediatric clinic were tested for H1N1 influenza A by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), 63 of them were positive. Patients' signs and symptoms were recorded prospectively. Ten (35.7%) (5 children with solid tumors, 4 with leukemia, 1 with hereditary spherocytosis) of 28 tested children with hematological conditions were diagnosed with 2009 H1N1 influenza infection. Fever (100%) and cough (90%) were the most common symptoms. Five were neutropenic (neutrophil count <1000/mm(3)), 4 had severe neutropenia (neutrophil count <500/mm(3)). Systemic antibiotics were given in 5 patients with the diagnosis of febrile neutropenia. Four were inpatients, others were hospitalized after the diagnosis. One patient required mechanical ventilation; however, he had concomitant invasive fungal infection. Eight patients were treated by oseltamivir, all tolerated the drug well. A total of 4 cases from 9 cancer patients had a delay in their planned chemotherapy for 7 to 15 days. Pandemic H1N1 influenza caused mild symptoms in children with cancer and/or hematological conditions but resulted in delay in anticancer therapy and increase in hospitalization and antibiotic usage.

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