BackgroundInfluenza pandemics are usually caused by the re-assortment of several influenza viruses, results in the emergence of new influenza virus strains that can infect the entire population. These pandemic strains, as well as seasonal influenza viruses, are subjected to extensive antigenic change that has, so far, prevented the generation of a universal vaccine.MethodsSamples of patients hospitalized due to infection with the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus (A(H1N1)pdm09) from 2009, when the virus first appeared, until 2013 were analyzed.ResultsWhile many patients were hospitalized in 2009 due to infection with the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, only small percentages of patients were hospitalized later in 2010 inverted question mark2012. Surprisingly, however in 2012 inverted question mark2013, we noticed that the percentages of patients hospitalized due to the pandemic H1N1 influenza infection increased significantly. Moreover, the ages of hospitalized patients differed throughout this entire period (2009 inverted question mark2013) and pregnant women were especially vulnerable to the infection.ConclusionsHigh percentages of patients (especially pregnant women) were hospitalized in 2013 due to the A(H1N1)pdm09 infection, which may have been enabled by an antigenic drift from those which circulated at the onset of the pandemic.
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