HIV/AIDS & H1N1: jules levin, NATAP — sickest H1N1 patients have comorbidities (052)

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A preliminary CDC analysis has confirmed that most patients hospitalized with the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus have underlying conditions that increase the risk for complications.

In more than 500 hospitalized children evaluated, the most common conditions included asthma, chronic lung disease, neurologic and neuromuscular disorders, and sickle-cell anemia and other blood disorders, Anne Schuchat, MD, of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call with reporters.


The findings came from a preliminary look at data covering hospitalizations from the beginning of the outbreak in April through the end of August.

Schuchat said the agency has continued to monitor hospitalizations to make sure there were no risk factors for complications that were overlooked.

The information was reported to the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program, which receives data from 10 state health departments and their local collaborators.

In addition to the underlying chronic medical conditions, pregnancy remained notable among the hospitalized adults; 6.1% were pregnant.

Schuchat said pregnancy increases the risk of flu-related complications because a mother’s immune system is suppressed so the body does not have a reaction to the fetus, increasing vulnerability to all infections.

In addition, she said, as the baby grows, the mother’s airways can become restricted, making it harder to fight off a lung infection.

Schuchat noted that people with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women are among the groups recommended to receive priority access to the pandemic vaccine as it becomes available.

Critically ill patients with 2009 influenza A(H1N1) infection in Canada – (JAMA)

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