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Rates of hospitalisation for acute respiratory illness and the emergence of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus in the Hunter New England Area Health Service

Med J Aust 2009; 191 (10): 573-574.

To the Editor: Hospitalisation rates for seasonal influenza are highest among young children and people aged over 65 years.1-3 Calculation of laboratory-confirmed infection rates is difficult because influenza testing is not consistently performed. Using diagnostic codes to identify hospitalisations for acute respiratory illness provides one measure of the relative burden of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (pH1N1) virus infection compared with influenza virus infections in previous influenza seasons.

  • Fatimah S Dawood1
  • Craig B Dalton2
  • David N Durrheim2
  • Kirsty G Hope2

  • 1 Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga, USA.
  • 2 Hunter New England Population Health, Newcastle, NSW.

Correspondence: fdawood@cdc.gov

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