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Between 123,000 and 203,000 pandemic influenza respiratory deaths occurred globally between 1 April and 31 December 2009, according to a study by international researchers from the GLaMOR project published in PLOS Medicine. In this modeling study, led by Lone Simonsen Lone Simonsen from George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in the United States, the researchers estimated the global burden of the 2009 Influenza pandemic by combining weekly virology data from the World Health Organization FluNet database and national influenza centers with weekly national underlying cause-of-death time series for 2005-2009 obtained from collaborators in more than 20 countries that cover 35% of the world's population.
The findings from this study suggest that respiratory mortality from the 2009 influenza pandemic was about 10-fold higher than laboratory-confirmed deaths. The authors found that most of the influenza deaths (62%-85%) occurred in people younger than 65, with the greatest mortality burden in Central and South American countries and lowest burden in European countries.
The authors say: "The burden varied greatly among countries, corroborating early reports of far greater pandemic severity in the Americas than in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. A collaborative network to collect and analyze mortality and hospitalization surveillance data is needed to rapidly establish the severity of future pandemics."
Funding: This study was supported by the WHO on a contract with NIVEL (APW 20043611 and 200617995). LS acknowledges support from the RAPIDD (Research and Policy for Infectious Disease Dynamics) program of the Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, the Fogarty International Center, and National Institutes of Health. MDVK acknowledges salary support from the Medical Research Centre and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. No funding bodies had any role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interests: LS has provided consultancy services to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and served on expert advisory boards for GSK, Roche, Pfizer, Merck, and Novartis. LS and RJT have an ownership interest in Sage Analytica, a consultancy in epidemiology and bioinformatics. DMF has provided consultancy services for GSK, Novartis, and MedImmune relating to influenza epidemiology and vaccine effectiveness and has been supported to attend international influenza meetings. WJP has served on an influenza advisory board for GSK.
Global Mortality Estimates for the 2009 Influenza Pandemic from the GLaMOR Project: A Modeling Study, Authors: Simonsen L, Spreeuwenberg P, Lustig R, Taylor RJ, Fleming DM, et al. (2013) PLoS Med 10(11): e1001558. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001558
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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