Secondary attack rate of pandemic influenza A(H1N1)2009 in Western Australian households, 29 May–7 August 2009
Carcione, D., Giele, C. M., Goggin, L. S., Kwan, K. S. H., Smith, D. W., Dowse, G. K., Mak, D. B., et al. (2011). Secondary attack rate of pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 in Western Australian households, 29 May–7 August 2009. Eurosurveillance, 16(3), Article 5, 2011.
Understanding household transmission of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)2009 virus, including risk factors for transmission, is important for refining public health strategies to reduce the burden of the disease. During the influenza season of 2009 we investigated transmission of the emerging virus in 595 households in which the index case was the first symptomatic case of influenza A(H1N1)2009. Secondary cases were defined as household contacts with influenza-like illness (ILI) or laboratory-confirmed influenza A(H1N1)2009, occurring at least one day after but within seven days following symptom onset in the index case. ILI developed in 231 of the 1,589 household contacts, a secondary attack rate of 14.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): 12.9–16.4). At least one secondary case occurred in 166 of the 595 households (a household transmission rate of 27.9%; 95% CI: 24.5–31.6). Of these, 127 (76.5%) households reported one secondary case and 39 (23.5%) households reported two or more secondary cases. Secondary attack rates were highest in children younger than five years (p=0.001), and young children were also more efficient transmitters (p=0.01). Individual risk was not associated with household size. Prophylactic antiviral therapy was associated with reduced transmission (p=0.03). The secondary attack rate of ILI in households with a confirmed pandemic influenza A(H1N1)2009 index case was comparable to that described previously for seasonal influenza.