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Reproductive Number and Serial Interval of the First Wave of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Virus in South Africa
Filetype[PDF - 254.42 KB]


Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    23166682
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC3500305
  • Funding:
    5U51/IP000155/IP/NCIRD CDC HHS/United States
    U54GM088558/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:
    Background/Objective

    Describing transmissibility parameters of past pandemics from diverse geographic sites remains critical to planning responses to future outbreaks. We characterize the transmissibility of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (hereafter pH1N1) in South Africa during 2009 by estimating the serial interval (SI), the initial effective reproductive number (initial Rt) and the temporal variation of Rt.

    Methods

    We make use of data from a central registry of all pH1N1 laboratory-confirmed cases detected throughout South Africa. Whenever date of symptom onset is missing, we estimate it from the date of specimen collection using a multiple imputation approach repeated 100 times for each missing value. We apply a likelihood-based method (method 1) for simultaneous estimation of initial Rt and the SI; estimate initial Rt from SI distributions established from prior field studies (method 2); and the Wallinga and Teunis method (method 3) to model the temporal variation of Rt.

    Results

    12,360 confirmed pH1N1 cases were reported in the central registry. During the period of exponential growth of the epidemic (June 21 to August 3, 2009), we simultaneously estimate a mean Rt of 1.47 (95% CI: 1.30–1.72) and mean SI of 2.78 days (95% CI: 1.80–3.75) (method 1). Field studies found a mean SI of 2.3 days between primary cases and laboratory-confirmed secondary cases, and 2.7 days when considering both suspected and confirmed secondary cases. Incorporating the SI estimate from field studies using laboratory-confirmed cases, we found an initial Rt of 1.43 (95% CI: 1.38–1.49) (method 2). The mean Rt peaked at 2.91 (95% CI: 0.85–2.91) on June 21, as the epidemic commenced, and Rt>1 was sustained until August 22 (method 3).

    Conclusions

    Transmissibility characteristics of pH1N1 in South Africa are similar to estimates reported by countries outside of Africa. Estimations using the likelihood-based method are in agreement with field findings.