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Investigating the effect of high spring incidence of pandemic influenza A(H1N1) on early autumn incidence

  • H. BURKOM (a1), K. KNISS (a2), M. MELTZER (a3), L. BRAMMER (a2), Y. ELBERT (a1), L. FINELLI (a2) and D. SWERDLOW (a4)...

A pandemic H1N1 infection wave in the USA occurred during spring 2009. Some hypothesized that for regions affected by the spring wave, an autumn outbreak would be less likely or delayed compared to unaffected regions because of herd immunity. We investigated this hypothesis using the Outpatient Influenza-like Illness (ILI) Network, a collaboration among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health departments, and care providers. We evaluated the likelihood of high early autumn incidence given high spring incidence in core-based statistical areas (CBSAs). Using a surrogate incidence measure based on influenza-related illness ratios, we calculated the odds of high early autumn incidence given high spring incidence. CBSAs with high spring ILI ratios proved more likely than unaffected CBSAs to have high early autumn ratios, suggesting that elevated spring illness did not protect against early autumn increases. These novel methods are applicable to planning and studies involving other infectious diseases.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr H. Burkom, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, National Security Technology Department, MS 8-224, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723, USA. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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