Patterns of early transmission of pandemic influenza in London - link with deprivation

Sooria Balasegaram*, Flora Ogilvie, Amy Glasswell, Charlotte Anderson, Vivien Cleary, Deborah Turbitt, Brian McCloskey

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Background During the early containment phase in England from April to June 2009, the national strategy for H1N1 pandemic influenza involved case investigation and treatment, and tracing and prophylaxis of contacts. Objective To describe the relationship between early transmission of H1N1 pandemic influenza in London and age and socio-economic status. Methods Epidemiological data on cases of pandemic flu in London reported to the London Flu Response Centre were analysed to determine patterns of transmission. Results There were 3487 reported cases (2202 confirmed, 1272 presumed and 14 probable) from 20 April to 28 June 2009, during the 'containment' period. The highest report rate of 206 per 100 000 (95% CI 195-218) was seen in primary school-age children (5-11years) followed by 129 (95% CI 119-139) in secondary school-age children (12-18years). Reports of cases were initially concentrated in affluent areas but overall showed a clear trend with deprivation and risk ratio of 2·32 (95% CI 1·94-2·78) between the most deprived and the least deprived. Conclusion Early transmissions were highest amongst school-aged children but linked with socio-economic deprivation across all age groups.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e35-e41
    JournalInfluenza and other Respiratory Viruses
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The authors thank L. Columbus, D. Eisenberg, M. Phillips and M. Sawaya for helpful discussions and technical expertise. This work was supported by the NIH and the DOE-BER program. A.A.S. was supported in part by the Medical Scientist Training Program of the UCLA School of Medicine.


    • Influenza
    • Pandemic
    • Socio-economic deprivation


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