Epidemiology of the 2009 influenza pandemic in Spain. The Spanish Influenza Surveillance System

Amparo Larrauri Cámara*, Silvia Jiménez-Jorge, Salvador De Mateo Ontañón, Francisco Pozo Sánchez, Juan Ledesma Moreno, Inmaculada Casas Flecha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In accordance with European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommendations, the Spanish Influenza Surveillance System (SISS) maintained its activity during the summer of 2009, and since July 2009 the pandemic virus activity was monitored by the SISS. In this paper, we describe the epidemiological and virological characteristics of the 2009 pandemic in the Spain through the SISS. Spain experienced a transmission of the new A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus during the summer of 2009, which gradually increased, resulting in the pandemic wave in early autumn of that year. The reproductive number R0, estimated during the growth phase of the pandemic wave (1.32; 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 1.29-1.36), showed a transmissibility comparable to preceding pandemics. There was an almost complete replacement of the previous seasonal A(H1N1) influenza virus by the pandemic virus A(H1N1)pdm09. The pandemic virus produced a greater burden of illness than seasonal influenza in children younger than 15 years old, while the incidence in those older than 64 years was lower compared with previous inter-pandemic seasons. Nevertheless, in Spain the 2009 pandemic was characterized as mild, considering the duration of the pandemic period and the influenza detection rate, both in the range of those observed in previous inter-pandemic seasons. Also, the case fatality ratio (CFR) was estimated at 0.58 deaths/1,000 confirmed ILI cases (95%CI, 0.52-0.64), in the range of the two previous pandemics of 1957 and 1968, with the highest CFR observed in the older than 64 years age group. In the 2009 pandemic there was a higher percentage of pandemic confirmed deaths in the younger ages, compared to seasonal influenza, since only 28% of the reported deaths occurred in persons aged 64 years and older.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-9
Number of pages8
JournalEnfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiologia Clinica
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Influenza A(H1N1)pmd09 virus
  • Influenza pandemic
  • Sentinel surveillance
  • Severity


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