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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Epidemiology of Influenza Viruses and Viruses Causing Influenza-Like Illness in Children Under 14 Years Old in the 2018-2019 Epidemic Season in Poland

Katarzyna Kondratiuk, Ewelina Hallmann, Katarzyna Łuniewska, Karol Szymański, Lidia Brydak

(Department of Influenza Research, National Influenza Center, National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland)

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e929303

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.929303

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate the epidemiology of influenza viruses and viruses that caused influenza-like disease in children under 14 years of age in the 2018-2019 epidemic season in Poland, and to identify the public health lessons that can be learned.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Nose and throat swabs were used to obtain samples. The samples were analyzed in the National Influenza Center, Department of Influenza Research at the National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene as well as in 16 Voivodship Sanitary Epidemiological Stations across the country. Methods of RNA isolation depended on the laboratory where the isolation was performed. In all laboratories, quantitative polymerase chain reactions were used to determine the influenza virus type as well as the subtype.
RESULTS: The study group was confirmed to be infected with influenza A and B, with influenza A/H1N1/pdm09 as the dominant subtype. Among the age group of children up to 14 years of age, cases of infection with viruses that cause influenza-like disease were also reported. It was noticeable that the largest number of confirmed cases of infection was recorded in the group of the youngest children (0-4 years). In addition, several different variants of co-infection were registered.
CONCLUSIONS: This population study showed that in the 2018-2019 epidemic season in Poland children aged under 14 years were at risk of influenza virus infection and its complications. The presented data support increasing the percentage of children being vaccinated in Poland.

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