The Young and the Old – Different Risk with H1N1 Virus

November 12, 2009

Young People More Likely to Get H1N1 Flu, Study Reaffirms

A Mexican study has confirmed that younger people were more likely to become infected with the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus but that older people were more likely to die from it.

The majority of confirmed infections (56%) occurred in individuals 10 to 39 years old, with only 10.2% occurring in people 40 and older, according to Victor Borja-Aburto, PhD, of the Mexican Institute for Social Security in Mexico City, and colleagues.

“The high incidence of infection in young people could show not only their different exposure related to their daily activities but also that people older than 60 years might have some immunity against the H1N1 virus,” they wrote online in The Lancet.

However, the death rate was highest among those 70 and older, at 10.3%. The death rate was 2% or less for all age groups younger than 40.

The findings are consistent with previous epidemiological studies of the ongoing pandemic.

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