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Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0375-0760On-line version ISSN 1561-3054


SAVON VALDES, Clara Estela et al. Severe acute respiratory infection in Cuban patients during the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in Cuba, 2009. Rev Cubana Med Trop [online]. 2011, vol.63, n.1, pp.30-37. ISSN 0375-0760.

INTRODUCTION: on April 2009, the Mexican health authorities reported increased hospitalization indexes caused by pneumonia with high mortality rates to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). The National Epidemiological Surveillance System of Mexico noticed that this increase mainly occurred in the 20-40 year old population. A new type of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus was identified by laboratory studies as the etiological agent of the first pandemic of the 21st century. On April 26 2009, the National Anti-pandemic Plan was activated by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, and on May 7th, the lab-confirmed index case appeared. An integrated surveillance system with laboratory confirmation was set up. OBJECTIVES: to detect pandemic influenza virus during the pandemic wave. METHODS: the epidemiological weeks 37 to 41 witnessed a rise of the number of sick people seen by the medical services. In this period, the samples taken from patients clinically diagnosed with severe acute respiratory infection were selected for this analysis; they were divided into three groups, that is, 370 children and adults in critical condition, 55 pregnant women in severe condition and 30 fatal cases. The diagnosis of the pandemic virus was performed by Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR). Other respiratory viruses were tested by conventional PCR. RESULTS: the pandemic influenza virus was detected in 65 children and adults, 20 pregnant women and 9 fatal cases. The seasonal influenza A (H3N2) virus was identified in 81 cases of severe acute respiratory infection covering all age groups, 10 pregnant women and 5 deceased on the basis of real time polymerase chain reaction test. Other respiratory viruses were also monitored by the end-point polymerase chain reaction. CONCLUSIONS: the comprehensive analysis of these results contributes to the national and regional surveillance of respiratory viruses for the improvement of the prevention and control programs of the acute respiratory infections.

Keywords : influenza; seasonal influenza; pandemic influenza; severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).

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