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INFLUENZA HEALTH CENTER
SEASONAL EFFECTS OF INFLUENZA ON MORTALITY IN A SUBTROPICAL CITYSource: BMC Infect Dis. 2009 Aug 22;9:133.
This study was basically initiated in Hong Kong with the basic aim of proving the non-seasonality of influenza in tropical countries such as in South East Asia. This study was important as we know that Influenza has been associated with a heavy burden of mortality. In tropical or subtropical regions where influenza viruses circulate in the community most of the year, it is possible that there are seasonal variations in the effects of influenza on mortality, because of periodic changes in environment and host factors as well as the frequent emergence of new antigenically drifted virus strains. In this paper the seasonal effect of influenza were explored using a time-varying coefficient Poisson regression model was fitted to the weekly numbers of mortality of Hong Kong from 1996 to 2002. Excess risks associated with influenza were calculated to assess the seasonal effects of influenza. This study has demonstrated that the effects of influenza were higher in winter and late spring/early summer than other seasons. The two-peak pattern of seasonal effects of influenza was found for cardio-respiratory disease and sub-categories pneumonia and influenza, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular diseases and ischemic heart disease as well as for all-cause deaths. The results provide insight into the possibility that seasonal factors may have impact on virulence of influenza besides their effects on virus transmission.
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