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Influenza virus is one of the major viral pathogens causing pediatric acute respiratory infection (ARI). The spread of pandemic influenza A (A(H1N1)pdm09) in 2009 around the globe had a huge impact on global health.
To investigate the impact of A(H1N1)pdm09 on pediatric ARI in Vietnam.
An ongoing population-based prospective surveillance in central Vietnam was used. All children aged <15 years residing in Nha Trang city, enrolled to the ARI surveillance in Khanh Hoa General Hospital, from February 2007 through March 2011 were studied. Clinical data and nasopharyngeal swab samples were collected. Influenza A was detected and genotyped by multiplex polymerase chain reaction assays and sequencing.
Among enrolled 2736 hospitalized ARI cases, 354 (13%) were positive for influenza A. Genotyping results revealed that seasonal H3N2 and H1N1 (sea-H1N1) viruses were cocirculating before A(H1N1)pdm09 appeared in July 2009. The A(H1N1)pdm09 replaced the sea-H1N1 after the pandemic. The majority of influenza A cases (90%) were aged <5 years with incidence rate of 537 (387–775) per 100 000 population. Annual incidence rates of hospitalized influenza cases for pre-, initial and post-pandemic periods among children aged <5 year were 474, 452, and 387 per 100 000, respectively. Children with A(H1N1)pdm09 were elder, visited the hospital earlier, less frequently had severe signs, and were less frequently associated with viral coinfection compared with seasonal influenza cases.
The A(H1N1)pdm09 did not increase the influenza annual hospitalization incidence or disease severity compared with seasonal influenza among pediatric ARI cases in central Vietnam.