Epidemiological Characteristics and Ecological Investigation of the 2009 Influenza Pandemic

  • Author / Creator
    Elamy, Abdel-Halim H
  • Influenza pandemic occurs when a novel influenza virus subtype for which humans do not have sufficient immunity emerges and spreads quickly from person-to-person worldwide. Influenza pandemics result in serious consequences on human health and economy. In April 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the emergence of a novel swine-origin influenza virus, A(H1N1)pdm09. This was the first influenza pandemic since 1968. The virus embraced a novel combination of gene segments that had not been reported in the past. By April 2010, 428 related deaths were reported in Canada, including 72 from Alberta. The objective of thesis was to investigate the epidemiologic characteristics of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 using the data from the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health (ProvLab) and linking it with relevant databases from other sources including those from Statistics Canada and Alberta Health. In Alberta, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 resulted in 6,327 laboratory-confirmed cases. Of these, 48% were males and 83.6% occurred in summer. The highest and lowest rates were reported in the Central and South Zones of Alberta, respectively. Females were at 12% increased risk compared to males. Individuals with asthma were at 6% increased risk of A(H1N1)pdm09 than others without asthma. Individuals aged between 15 and 34 years had 4-fold increased risk compared to those aged 65 years and older. A switch in the vulnerability to A(H1N1)pdm09 occurred in females between 15 to 64 years of age to have higher risk than males.Associations between influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and other factors (geography, age, sex, and asthma) were found significant in an ecological analysis which is consistent with findings from other studies. Consideration of these factors can result in a more effective public health preparedness and responses to future influenza pandemics.

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  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.