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Infections Caused by Influenza Viruses Among Children in Poland During the 2017/18 Epidemic Season
Influenza is an infectious disease that is a threat to both children and adults. The most effective way to prevent infections among children is seasonal vaccination in every epidemic season, which is recommended from the age of 6 months onward. This study is a report of the prevalence of influenza infection in the population of children up to the age of 14 years and of the type of influenza virus involved during the 2017/18 epidemic season in Poland. We found that influenza A and B viruses co-dominated in the season. Among the influenza A viruses, A/H1N1/ pdm09 subtype was a more frequent source of infection than A/H3N2/ subtype. In addition, the prevalence of infection was re-analyzed in children stratified into the age groups of 0–4, 5–9, and 10–14 years old. We found a relation between the age of a child and the type of influenza virus causing infection. The youngest children under 4 years were the most vulnerable to both influenza and influenza-like infections; the former caused mostly by influenza A and the latter by RSV. In contradistinction, influenza B dominated in the oldest children aged 10–14 and RSV infections were not present in this age group. The characteristics of influenza viruses may however vary on the seasonal basis.
KeywordsChildren Infection Influenza Molecular biology Respiratory tract Virology
Supported by NIPH-NIH grant 3/EM. The authors thank the physicians and employees of VSESs in the SENTINEL program for their help in the influenza surveillance in Poland.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interests in relation to this article.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by an institutional Ethics Committee.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study before collection of nasopharyngeal samples.
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