Kids Infected with H1N1 More Susceptible to Severe Complications

Pharmacy Times, November 2014 Cough & Cold, Volume 80, Issue 11

Children infected with the H1N1 influenza strain may be more likely to develop serious complications than children infected with other flu strains, the results from a recent study suggest.

The study, published in the September 2014 issue of Pediatrics, analyzed the development of severe complications among children 19 years and younger presenting to the emergency department for moderate to severe influenza-like illness during peak respiratory viral seasons from 2008 to 2010. Severe complications included respiratory failure, encephalopathy, seizures, pneumonia, bacteremia, and death. Information on demographics, comorbidities, and household exposures were collected to determine risk factors for complications.

Overall, 35.3% of the children included in the study developed severe complications. Those with neurologic or neuromuscular conditions had an increased risk for these complications. The risk for complications did not significantly differ by infecting virus; however, risks differed for flu subtypes. Among children with influenza, those infected with the H1N1 strain were at the highest risk for developing all severe complications and for pneumonia.