Award Date

12-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

First Committee Member

Patricia Cruz Perez, Chair

Second Committee Member

Sheniz Moonie

Third Committee Member

Timothy Bungum

Fourth Committee Member

Brian Labus

Graduate Faculty Representative

Eduardo Robleto

Number of Pages

67

Abstract

Influenza circulates in the community in a fairly predictable manner each year; however, throughout the duration of any influenza season, influenza strains have the ability to evolve through antigenic mutations, viral reassortment, development of anti-viral resistance, and alterations in virulence. These changes are likely to cause illness among the unimmunized and can result in severe illness or death. Therefore, it is especially important to closely monitor severe influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas in collaboration with the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), Office of Epidemiology (OOE) analyzed data from the severe hospitalized influenza morbidity and mortality surveillance project for all residents of Clark County from October 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011. These data were analyzed using a descriptive approach to illustrate the epidemiology of severe influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths, and an analytical approach to identify any associations between the variables of interest and the incidence of severe influenza-associated deaths. Among the study population (N= 158), the influenza strain type was found to be significantly associated with deaths (n= 25). Of the 36 cases diagnosed with influenza A (H1N1), 30.6% resulted in death; patients diagnosed with influenza B demonstrated a similar proportion of deaths at 29.6%; and influenza A (no subtype) was the most commonly diagnosed influenza strain (n= 94) in Clark County, but it had the lowest proportion of deaths at 6.4%. Vaccine status was not found to be significantly associated with death among hospitalized patients. The majority of deaths (n= 14) had an unknown vaccine status; therefore, these results are inconclusive. The length of stay distribution for influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths was non-normal because the majority of patients (70.4%) were admitted for ≤ 7 days. Transformed data showed that there was no statistically significant difference in the mean length of stay based on the influenza strain type. It is expected that the results of this study will help inform policy makers, hospitals, public health agencies, and other community partners in Clark County of the impact of influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths.

Keywords

Epidemiology; Health and environmental sciences; Hospitalized; Influenza – Mortality; Influenza viruses – Variation; Morbidity; Mortality; Nevada – Clark County; Surveillance

Disciplines

Epidemiology | Health Services Research | Influenza Humans | Public Health

Language

English


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