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RI Hospital: Co-infections not associated with worse outcomes during H1N1 pandemic
Date:4/9/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. A study at Rhode Island Hospital has found that despite complications, patients co-infected with the pandemic 2009-2010 influenza A H1N1 (pH1N1) and a second respiratory virus were not associated with worse outcomes or admission to the hospital's intensive care unit. The study is published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

"There is scant data in the literature regarding the incidence and impact of simultaneous infection by two respiratory viruses, particularly in adults," said senior investigator Leonard Mermel, D.O., medical director of the department of epidemiology and infection control at Rhode Island Hospital. "We compared 617 people hospitalized with respiratory infection due to a single virus to 49 people hospitalized with such infections due to two viruses (co-infection). Those with viral co-infection were younger, more often had fever/chills and shortness of breath than those with co-infection. Although patients with viral co-infection were more likely to be treated for a secondary bacterial pneumonia, they were not more likely to require ICU admission and they did not have a longer length of hospital stay."

The pandemic 2009-2010 influenza A (pH1N1) was first identified in the U.S. in April 2009 and infected patients across the country in two waves. There were an estimated 61 million cases of pH1N1; 274,000 hospitalizations; and 12,470 deaths associated with the pandemic -- a significant increase in hospitalizations, and a decrease in mortality as compared to seasonal influenza averages.

Children experienced a greater burden of disease than adults during the pandemic, with a higher mortality rate. However, despite fewer cases in adults, more adult patients were afflicted with serious illness. Children also had a higher rate of co-infection, which may be due to an absence of protective antibodies or other forms of immunity that older individuals have gained over time.

A previous study at R
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Contact: Ellen Slingsby
eslingsby@lifespan.org
401-444-6421
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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