Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries reported surveillance data on 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) cases to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) through the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) during the early phase of the 2009 pandemic. We describe the main epidemiological findings and their implications in respect to the second wave of the 2009 influenza pandemic. Two reporting systems were in place (aggregate and case-based) from June to September 2009 to monitor the evolution of the pandemic. The notification rate was assessed through aggregate reports. Individual data were analysed retrospectively to describe the population affected. The reporting peak of the first wave of the 2009 pandemic influenza was reached in the first week of August. Transmission was travel-related in the early stage and community transmission within EU/EEA countries was reported from June 2009. Seventy eight per cent of affected individuals were less than 30 years old. The proportions of cases with complications and underlying conditions were 3% and 7%, respectively. The most frequent underlying medical conditions were chronic lung (37%) and cardio-vascular diseases (15%). Complication and hospitalisation were both associated with underlying conditions regardless of age. The information from the first wave of the pandemic produced a basis to determine risk groups and vaccination strategies before the start of the winter wave. Public health recommendations should be guided by early capture of profiles of affected populations through monitoring of infectious diseases.


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