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Surveillance Open Access
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Abstract

Background

Influenza was almost absent for 2 years following the implementation of strict public health measures to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The consequence of this on infections in different age groups is not yet known.

Aim

To describe the age groups infected with the influenza virus in 2021/22, the first post-pandemic influenza season in Denmark, compared with the previous six seasons, and subtypes circulating therein.

Methods

Infection and hospitalisation incidences per season and age group were estimated from data in Danish registries. Influenza virus subtypes and lineages were available from samples sent to the National Influenza Centre at Statens Serum Institut.

Results

Test incidence followed a similar pattern in all seasons, being highest in 0–1-year-olds and individuals over 75 years, and lowest in 7–14-year-olds and young people 15 years to late twenties. When the influenza A virus subtypes A(H3N2) and A(H1N1)pdm09 co-circulated in seasons 2015/16 and 2017/18 to 2019/20, the proportion of A(H1N1)pdm09 was higher in 0–1-year-olds and lower in the over 85-year-olds  compared with the overall proportion of A(H1N1)pdm09 in these seasons. The proportion of A(H3N2) was higher in the over 85 years age group compared with the overall proportion of A(H3N2). The 2016/17 and 2021/22 seasons were dominated by A(H3N2) but differed in age-specific trends, with the over 85 years age group initiating the 2016/17 season, while the 2021/22 season was initiated by the 15–25-year-olds, followed by 7–14-year-olds.

Conclusion

The 2021/22 influenza season had a different age distribution compared with pre-COVID-19 pandemic seasons.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.4.2300263
2024-01-25
2024-02-28
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.4.2300263
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