Bacterial Coinfection in H1N1-Related Deaths
Bacterial pneumonia is contributing to deaths related to 2009 H1N1 influenza, according to a report released online in MMWR. The CDC reiterates the importance of high-risk patients receiving the pneumococcal vaccine.
Researchers analyzed autopsy tissue specimens from 77 patients who died of H1N1-related illness. Of those, 29% had evidence of bacterial coinfection. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common bacteria found. (These cases may not be an accurate representation of concurrent bacterial infections in H1N1 fatalities, according to an editorial note, because this was not a systematic sample.)
The CDC says the findings “underscore both the importance of pneumococcal vaccination for persons at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia and the need for early recognition of bacterial pneumonia in persons with influenza.”