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Title: Early outbreak of 2009 influenza a (H1N1) in mexico prior to identification of pH1N1 virus
Authors: Hsieh, Y.-H.
Ma, S.
Velasco Hernandez, J.X.
Lee, V.J. 
Lim, W.Y.
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Hsieh, Y.-H., Ma, S., Velasco Hernandez, J.X., Lee, V.J., Lim, W.Y. (2011). Early outbreak of 2009 influenza a (H1N1) in mexico prior to identification of pH1N1 virus. PLoS ONE 6 (8) : -. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: In the aftermath of the global spread of 2009 influenza A (pH1N1) virus, still very little is known of the early stages of the outbreak in Mexico during the early months of the year, before the virus was identified. Methodology/Main Findings: We fit a simple mathematical model, the Richards model, to the number of excess laboratory-confirmed influenza cases in Mexico and Mexico City during the first 15 weeks in 2009 over the average influenza case number of the previous five baseline years of 2004-2008 during the same period to ascertain the turning point (or the peak incidence) of a wave of early influenza infections, and to estimate the transmissibility of the virus during these early months in terms of its basic reproduction number. The results indicate that there may have been an early epidemic in Mexico City as well as in all of Mexico during February/March. Based on excess influenza cases, the estimated basic reproduction number R 0 for the early outbreak was 1.59 (0.55 to 2.62) for Mexico City during weeks 5-9, and 1.25 (0.76, 1.74) for all of Mexico during weeks 5-14. Conclusions: We established the existence of an early epidemic in Mexico City and in all of Mexico during February/March utilizing the routine influenza surveillance data, although the location of seeding is unknown. Moreover, estimates of R 0 as well as the time of peak incidence (the turning point) for Mexico City and all of Mexico indicate that the early epidemic in Mexico City in February/March had been more transmissible (larger R 0) and peaked earlier than the rest of the country. Our conclusion lends support to the possibility that the virus could have already spread to other continents prior to the identification of the virus and the reporting of lab-confirmed pH1N1 cases in North America in April. © 2011 Hsieh et al.
Source Title: PLoS ONE
ISSN: 19326203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023853
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