• Influenza in hospitalized children in Ireland in the pandemic period and the 2010/2011 season: risk factors for paediatric intensive-care-unit admission.

      Rebolledo, J; Igoe, D; O'Donnell, J; Domegan, L; Boland, M; Freyne, B; McNamara, A; Molloy, E; Callaghan, M; Ryan, A; et al. (2013-11-11)
      SUMMARY Influenza causes significant morbidity and mortality in children. This study's objectives were to describe influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 during the pandemic, to compare it with circulating influenza in 2010/2011, and to identify risk factors for severe influenza defined as requiring admission to a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Children hospitalized with influenza during the pandemic were older, and more likely to have received antiviral therapy than children hospitalized during the 2010/2011 season. In 2010/2011, only one child admitted to a PICU with underlying medical conditions had been vaccinated. The risk of severe illness in the pandemic was higher in females and those with underlying conditions. In 2010/2011, infection with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 compared to other influenza viruses was a significant risk factor for severe disease. An incremental relationship was found between the number of underlying conditions and PICU admission. These findings highlight the importance of improving low vaccination uptake and increasing the use of antivirals in vulnerable children.
    • Investigation and management of an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 associated with duck eggs, Ireland 2009 to 2011.

      Garvey, P; McKeown, P; Kelly, P; Cormican, M; Anderson, W; Flack, A; Barron, S; De Lappe, N; Buckley, J; Cosgrove, C; et al. (2013)
      Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 was a very rare cause of human illness in Ireland between 2000 and 2008, with only four human isolates from three patients being identified. Over a 19-month period between August 2009 and February 2011, 34 confirmed cases and one probable case of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 were detected, all of which had an MLVA pattern 2-10-NA-12-212 or a closely related pattern. The epidemiological investigations strongly supported a linkbetween illness and exposure to duck eggs. Moreover, S. Typhimurium with an MLVA pattern indistinguishable (or closely related) to the isolates from human cases, was identified in 22 commercial and backyard duck flocks, twelve of which were linked with known human cases. A range of control measures were taken at farm level, and advice was provided to consumers on the hygienic handling and cooking of duck eggs. Although no definitive link was established with a concurrent duck egg-related outbreak of S. Typhimurium DT8 in the United Kingdom, it seems likely that the two events were related. It may be appropriate for other countries with a tradition of consuming duck eggs to consider the need for measures to reduce the risk of similar outbreaks.