Perspectives from Spanish infectious diseases professionals on 2009 A (H1N1) influenza: the third half


Corresponding author: J. R. Paño-Pardo, Hospital Universitario La Paz-IDIPAZ, Madrid, Spain


Clin Microbiol Infect 2011; 17: 845–850


The first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years was declared in 2009. We aimed to evaluate the beliefs of Spanish infectious diseases professionals regarding several aspects of 2009 A (H1N1) influenza once the epidemic waned. An online survey was designed and distributed among members of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC). The survey considered hospital organization and preparedness planning and conduct, as well as the opinion of the infectious diseases professionals regarding several key issues. Between 7 March and 22 March 2010, 303 responses, corresponding to 12.8% of the SEIMC membership, were received. Of the respondents, 48.2% were microbiologists and 42.3% were clinicians dealing with infectious diseases. Forty-one per cent of respondents did not believe that 2009 A (H1N1) influenza had a more severe presentation than other seasonal influenzas. Only 5% fully agreed that 2009 A (H1N1) influenza had a more severe presentation. Influenza planning was available in 69.7% of represented institutions before the arrival of 2009 A (H1N1) influenza, and was considered to be useful, to different extents, by most professionals. In most institutions (88.3%), a multidisciplinary team was created to coordinate local pandemic influenza actions. The most successful protocols were those provided by regional healthcare authorities, followed by those from the CDC. The most problematic issues regarding 2009 A (H1N1) influenza were the management of patients in the emergency room and the vaccination and awareness of healthcare professionals (HCPs) regarding infection control. Microbiological diagnosis and the availability of antivirals were the least problematic areas. Although the majority of surveyed infectious diseases professionals did not believe that 2009 A (H1N1) influenza had an especially severe presentation, most of them agreed with the way that this epidemic was managed in their institutions.