A lower than expected adult Victorian community attack rate for pandemic (H1N1) 2009
Article first published online: 1 JUN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 34, Issue 3, pages 228–231, June 2010
How to Cite
Grills, N., Piers, L. S., Barr, I., Vaughan, L. M., Lester, R., Magliano, D. J., Shaw, J. E. and Carnie, J. A. (2010), A lower than expected adult Victorian community attack rate for pandemic (H1N1) 2009. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34: 228–231. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00518.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 1 JUN 2010
- Submitted: March 2010 Revision requested: March 2010 Accepted: April 2010
Vol. 34, Issue 4, 426, Article first published online: 3 AUG 2010
- Pandemic (H1N1);
- community attack rate
Objectives: To determine the community seropositivity of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in order to estimate immunity and the community attack rate.
Methods: Selected clusters of participants (n=706) in the ‘Victorian Health Monitor’ (VHM), from whom blood samples were taken between August and October 2009, were tested opportunistically for antibodies to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus. A titre of ≥1:40 was chosen as the cut-off for recording seropositivity. The proportion (95% CI) of seropositive participants, aged 18 to <65 years of age, were computed for groups of census collection districts (CDs) across metropolitan Melbourne.
Results: The observed pandemic (H1N1) 2009 seropositivity rates for all CDs tested in metropolitan Melbourne was 16.0% (95% CI:12.9-19.1%); in northern Melbourne subset was 14.4% (95% CI:12.4-16.3%); and in eastern subset was 16.2% (95% CI:9.7-22.6%). The pre-pandemic (H1N1) 2009 positivity rate was estimated at 6%.
Conclusion: Given this study's estimate of 16.0% seropositivity in adults in metropolitan Melbourne, and given the WHO laboratory's estimate of 6% pre-pandemic positivity, the estimated adult community attack rate was 10% for metropolitan Melbourne.
Implications: This community attack rate is lower than anticipated and suggests that levels of immunity to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 might be lower than anticipated. Although limited by a low response rate of 34%, this study suggests low adult seropositivity, which may be useful for public health professionals when encouraging the community to get vaccinated.