Surveillance for pediatric deaths associated with 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection - United States, April-August 2009

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Sep 4;58(34):941-7.


Children aged <5 years or with certain chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for complications and death from influenza. Because of this increased risk, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has prioritized influenza prevention and treatment for children aged <5 years and for those with certain chronic medical and immunosuppressive conditions. CDC monitors child influenza deaths through its influenza-associated pediatric mortality reporting system. As of August 8, 2009, CDC had received reports of 477 deaths associated with 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in the United States, including 36 deaths among children aged <18 years. To characterize these cases, CDC analyzed data from April to August 2009. The results of that analysis indicated that, of 36 children who died, seven (19%) were aged <5 years, and 24 (67%) had one or more of the high-risk medical conditions. Twenty-two (92%) of the 24 children with high-risk medical conditions had neurodevelopmental conditions. Among 23 children with culture or pathology results reported, laboratory-confirmed bacterial coinfections were identified in 10 (43%), including all six children who 1) were aged >or=5 years, 2) had no recognized high-risk condition, and 3) had culture or pathology results reported. Early diagnosis of influenza can enable prompt initiation of antiviral therapy for children who are at greater risk or severely ill. Clinicians also should be aware of the potential for severe bacterial coinfections among children diagnosed with influenza and treat accordingly. All children aged >or=6 months and caregivers of children aged <6 months should receive influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine when available.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza, Human / complications
  • Influenza, Human / mortality*
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology