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Determination of Predominance of Influenza Virus Strains in the Americas - Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

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Determination of Predominance of Influenza Virus Strains in the Americas - Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015


Determination of Predominance of Influenza Virus Strains in the Americas

Eduardo Azziz-BaumgartnerComments to Author , Rebecca J. Garten, Rakhee Palekar, Mauricio Cerpa, Sara Mirza, Alba Maria Ropero, Francisco S. Palomeque, Ann Moen, Joseph Bresee, Michael Shaw, and Marc-Alain Widdowson
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (E. Azziz-Baumgartner, R.J. Garten, R. Palekar, S. Mirza, F.S. Palomeque, A. Moen, J. Bresee, M. Shaw, M.-A. Widdowson)Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, USA (R. Palekar, M. Cerpa, A.M. Ropero)


During 2001–2014, predominant influenza A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) strains in South America predominated in all or most subsequent influenza seasons in Central and North America. Predominant A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) strains in North America predominated in most subsequent seasons in Central and South America. Sharing data between these subregions may improve influenza season preparedness.
During 2002–2008, infection with influenza viruses caused 40,880–160,270 deaths each year throughout the Americas (1). To prevent illness and death, medical staff in 35 countries throughout the Americas administer influenza vaccines (2). However, producing the vaccine takes ≈6 months, and selecting virus strains necessitates assessing which strains are likely to predominate during upcoming epidemics (3).
Surveillance for influenza has improved dramatically, especially in the American tropics (4). Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether virus strains identified in North America subsequently become predominant in South America and vice versa (3). Such information could help public health officials in each hemisphere prepare for upcoming influenza seasons. We describe influenza epidemics in North, Central, and South America and explore whether the virus strains that caused them were similar.
Dr. Azziz-Baumgartner works at the US Centers for Disease Control, Influenza Division, collaborating with the Pan American Health Organization and its member countries. His research interests are surveillance improvements, disease and economic burden studies, and influenza vaccine impact studies.


This paper is dedicated to the memory of Alexander Klimov.


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Technical Appendix

Suggested citation for this article: Azziz-Baumgartner E, Garten RJ, Palekar R, Cerpa M, Mirza S, Ropero AM, et al. Determination of predominance of influenza virus strains in the Americas. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jul [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2107.140788
DOI: 10.3201/eid2107.140788

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