Present address: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 3170 UW Medical Foundation Centennial Building, 1685 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2281.
2009 H1N1 Fatalities: The New Mexico Experience
Article first published online: 9 MAY 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 6, pages 1512–1518, November 2012
How to Cite
Brooks, E. G., Bryce, C. H., Avery, C., Smelser, C., Thompson, D. and Nolte, K. B. (2012), 2009 H1N1 Fatalities: The New Mexico Experience. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 1512–1518. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02163.x
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 9 MAY 2012
- Received 16 Mar. 2011; and in revised form 25 July 2011; accepted 11 Sept. 2011.
- forensic science;
- pulmonary pathology;
- Type A Influenza;
- H1N1 virus;
- 2009 pandemic
Abstract: Histopathologic features of New Mexico 2009 H1N1 fatalities have not been representative of those reported nationwide. We retrospectively reviewed medical records of all New Mexico 2009 pandemic influenza A (pH1N1) fatalities (n = 50). In cases in which autopsy was performed (n = 12), histologic sections and culture results were examined. In contrast to previously published studies, the majority of our fatalities did not have diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) (2/12; 16.7%). Common findings included pulmonary interstitial inflammation and edema, tracheobronchitis, and pneumonia. Two cases had significant extra-pulmonary manifestations: myocarditis and cerebral edema with herniation. The majority had a rapid disease course: range from 1 to 12 days (median, 2 days), and Native Americans were disproportionately represented among fatalities. These findings suggest that New Mexico H1N1 fatalities generally did not survive long enough to develop the classic picture of DAD. Pathologists should be aware that H1N1 may cause extra-pulmonary pathology and perform postmortem cultures and histologic sampling accordingly.