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Higher incidence of seizures seen in children with H1N1 virus compared to seasonal flu
Date:9/19/2010

A recent study by researchers at the University of Utah determined that the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) caused a higher rate of neurological complications in children than the seasonal flu. The most common complications observed were seizures and encephalopathy. Full details of the study, the most extensive evaluation of neurological complications following H1N1 flu in children, are published in the September issue of Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association.

The H1N1 virus (swine flu) was identified in Mexico and the U.S. in April 2009 and quickly spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the novel influenza A virus a pandemic. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43 million to 89 million Americans were infected with H1N1 between April 2009 and April 10, 2010, with approximately 14 million to 28 million of those cases in children 17 years of age and younger. On August 10, 2010 the WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee officially declared an end to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

In their retrospective study, Josh Bonkowsky, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues examined neurological complications in children with H1N1 compared to the seasonal flu. Children (younger than 19 years of age) who were hospitalized with H1N1 and neurological complications between April 1 and November 30, 2009 were included in the study. In the comparison group, the research team used records of children hospitalized with seasonal flu and neurological complications from July 1, 2004-June 30, 2008. Neurological complications observed included seizures, febrile seizures, status epilepticus, encephalopathy, encephalitis, myositis, myalgia, aphasia, ataxia, neuropathy, Gullain-Barre syndrome, or other focal neurological complaints.

Researchers identified 303 children who were hospitalized with 2009 H1N1 of which 18 experienced neur
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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