Eurosurveillance, Volume 15, Issue 20, 20 May 2010
Table of Contents
From January to April 2010, 396 hantavirus infections were notified in Germany, a considerable increase compared with previous years (mean: 83 for January–April 2004–2009) including the record-setting year, 2007 (n=232 January–April). Most patients are residents of known Puumala virus endemic areas in southern Germany. The recent increase in notified hantavirus infections is probably due to an increased population density of the main animal reservoir, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus).
After ten years of being measles free, Slovenia experienced a cluster with secondary transmission in a hospital setting in March 2010. The index case, a resident of Ireland, was hospitalised on the day after his arrival to Slovenia and diagnosed with measles two days later. After his discharge, two cases of measles were notified, a hospital staff member and a visitor to the clinic, suggesting transmission in a hospital setting.
Between 31 December 2009 and 10 February 2010, 13 patients were infected by an identical hepatitis A virus strain not previously detected in the Netherlands. They had not been abroad and were widely distributed over the Netherlands. A case-control study including 12 cases and 44 controls identified semi-dried tomatoes in oil as the source of the outbreak (odds ratio: 20.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.5-274). The virus was not detected in any of 81 tested food samples. International trace-back is still ongoing.
This paper describes the epidemiology of fatal pandemic influenza A(H1N1) cases in the United Kingdom (UK) since April 2009 and in particular risk factors associated with death. A fatal case was defined as a UK resident who died between 27 April 2009 and 12 March 2010, in whom pandemic influenza A(H1N1) infection was confirmed by laboratory or recorded on death certificate. Case fatality ratios (CFR) were calculated using the estimated cumulative number of clinical cases as the denominator. The relative risk of death was estimated by comparing the population mortality rate in each risk group, with those not in a risk group. Across the UK, 440 fatal cases were identified. In England, fatal cases were mainly seen in young adults (median age 43 years, 85% under 65 years), unlike for seasonal influenza. The majority (77%) of cases for whom data were available (n=308) had underlying risk factors for severe disease. The CFR in those aged 65 years or over was nine per 1,000 (range 3 – 26) compared to 0.4 (range 0.2 to 0.9) for those aged six months to 64 years. In the age group between six month and 64 years, the relative risk for fatal illness for those in a risk group was 18. The population attributable fractions in this age group were highest for chronic neurological disease (24%), immunosuppression (16%) and respiratory disease (15%). The results highlight the importance of early targeted effective intervention programmes.
Eurosurveillance Edition: 20 May 2010
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