Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Australia was one of the first countries of the southern hemisphere to experience influenza A(H1N1)v with community transmission apparent in Victoria, Australia, by 22 May 2009. With few identified imported cases, the epidemic spread through schools and communities leading to 897 confirmed cases by 3 June 2009. The estimated reproduction ratio up to 31 May 2009 was 2.4 (95% credible interval (CI): 2.1-2.6). Methods designed to account for undetected transmission reduce this estimate to 1.6 (95% CI: 1.5-1.8). Time varying reproduction ratio estimates show a steady decline in observed transmission over the first 14 days of the epidemic. This could be accounted for by ascertainment bias or a true impact of interventions including antiviral prophylaxis, treatment and school closure. Most cases (78%) in the first 19 days in Victoria were under the age of 20 years-old. Estimates suggest that the average youth primary case infected at least two other youths in the early growth phase, which was sufficient to drive the epidemic.


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