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Potential Impact of Influenza A/H1N1 Pandemic and Hand-Gels on Acute Diarrhea Epidemic in France

Abstract : - Background - The 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic has received a great deal of attention from public health authorities. Our study examines whether this pandemic and the resulting public health measures could have impacted acute diarrhea, a prevalent, highly transmissible and historically monitored disease. - Methods - Using augmentation procedures of national data for the previous five years (2004-2009), we estimated the expected timing and incidence of acute diarrhea in France in 2009-2010 and evaluated differences with the observed. We also reviewed national hand gels for the same period. - Findings - Number of episodes of acute diarrhea in France in 2009-2010 was significantly lower than expected until the third week of December (-24%, 95% CI [-36%; -9%]), then significantly higher (+40%, 95% CI [22%; 62%]), leading to a surplus of 574,440 episodes. The epidemic was delayed by 5 weeks with a peak 1.3 times higher than expected. Hand-gels sales inversely correlated with incidence of both influenza-like illness and acute diarrheal disease. Among individuals >65 yo, no excess cases of influenza and no excess rebound in acute diarrhea were observed, despite similar delay in the onset of the seasonal diarrheal epidemic. - Interpretation - Our results suggest that at least one endemic disease had an unexpected behavior in 2009-2010. Acute diarrhea seems to have been controlled during the beginning of the pandemic in all age groups, but later peaked higher than expected in the younger population. The all-age delay in seasonal onset seems partly attributable to hand-gels use, while the differential magnitude of the seasonal epidemic between young and old, concurrent for both influenza and acute diarrhea, is compatible with disease interaction.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - 11:49:59 AM
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Pascal Crepey, Mathilde Pivette, Moïse Desvarieux. Potential Impact of Influenza A/H1N1 Pandemic and Hand-Gels on Acute Diarrhea Epidemic in France. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (10), pp.e75226. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0075226⟩. ⟨hal-03329785⟩



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