The three French territories in the Pacific (New Caledonia [NC], French Polynesia [FP] and Wallis and Futuna [WF]) have been affected by an outbreak of influenza A(H1N1)2009 during the austral winter. This wave of influenza-like illness was characterized by a short duration (approximately 8 weeks) and high attack rates: 16% to 18% in NC and in FP, 28% in Wallis and 38% in Futuna. The number of infected patients requiring hospitalization in critical care services and the number of deaths were respectively 21 and 10 in NC and 13 and 7 in FP (none in WF). Diabetes, cardiac and pulmonary diseases, obesity in adults, neuromuscular diseases in children, and Oceanic origin were frequently observed among severe cases and deaths. A significant proportion of the population remains susceptible to A(H1N1)2009, making the occurrence of a second wave likely. A state of preparedness and control efforts must be implemented, based on preventive measures (immunization), as well as combined clinical and virological surveillance and health organization.
Auteur : Epidemiological task group for overseas French territories of the Pacific
Clinical microbiology and infection, 2010, vol. 16, n°. 4, p. 304-8