• Epidemiology, clinical characteristics and resource implications of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in intensive care units in Ireland.

      Nicolay, Nathalie; Callaghan, Michael A; Domegan, Lisa M; Oza, Ajay N; Marsh, Brian J; Flanagan, Paula C; Igoe, Derval M; O'Donnell, Joan M; O'Flanagan, Darina M; O'Hora, Aidan P; Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) (2010-12)
      The 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic was a significant burden on Irish ICUs, predominantly affecting the tertiary centres. The demographics and clinical characteristics were similar to those described in the southern hemisphere, suggesting such data may inform future resource planning for similar threats.
    • Hospital Infection Society prevalence survey of Healthcare Associated Infection 2006: comparison of results between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

      Fitzpatrick, F; McIlvenny, G; Oza, A; Newcombe, R G; Humphreys, H; Cunney, R; Murphy, N; Ruddy, R; Reid, G; Bailie, R; Lavelle, C; Doherty, L; Smyth, E T M; Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin, Ireland. Fidelma.fitzpatrick@hse.ie (Journal of hospital infection, 2008-07)
      As part of the Third Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Prevalence Survey of the United Kingdom and Ireland, HCAI point prevalence surveys were carried out in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI). Here we explore the potential benefits of comparing results from two countries with different healthcare systems, which employed similar methodologies and identical HCAI definitions. Forty-four acute adult hospitals in the RoI and 15 in NI participated with a total of 11 185 patients surveyed (NI 3644 patients and RoI 7541). The overall HCAI prevalence was 5.4 and 4.9 in NI and the RoI, respectively. There was no significant difference in prevalence rates of HCAI, device-related HCAI or HCAI associated with bloodstream infection but there was a difference in meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-related HCAI (P = 0.02) between the two countries. There were significantly more urinary tract infections and Clostridium difficile infections recorded in NI (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001). HCAIs were more prevalent in patients aged >65 years and in the intensive care unit in both countries. HCAIs were also more prevalent if patients were mechanically ventilated, had had recent non-implant surgery (RoI) or had more recorded HCAI risk factors. This is the first time that HCAI prevalence rates have been directly compared between NI and the RoI. By closely examining similarities and differences between HCAI prevalence rates in both countries it is hoped that this will influence healthcare planning and at the same time reassure the public that HCAI is important and that measures are being taken to combat it.
    • Low and decreasing vaccine effectiveness against influenza A(H3) in 2011/12 among vaccination target groups in Europe: results from the I-MOVE multicentre case-control study.

      Kissling, E; Valenciano, M; Larrauri, A; Oroszi, B; Cohen, J M; Nunes, B; Pitigoi, D; Rizzo, C; Rebolledo, J; Paradowska-Stankiewicz, I; Jiménez-Jorge, S; Horváth, J K; Daviaud, I; Guiomar, R; Necula, G; Bella, A; O'Donnell, J; Głuchowska, M; Ciancio, B C; Nicoll, A; Moren, A; EpiConcept, Paris, France. e.kissling@epiconcept.fr (2013)
      Within the Influenza Monitoring Vaccine Effectiveness in Europe (I-MOVE) project we conducted a multicentre case–control study in eight European Union (EU) Member States to estimate the 2011/12 influenza vaccine effectiveness against medically attended influenza-like illness (ILI) laboratory-confirmed as influenza A(H3) among the vaccination target groups. Practitioners systematically selected ILI / acute respiratory infection patients to swab within seven days of symptom onset. We restricted the study population to those meeting the EU ILI case definition and compared influenza A(H3) positive to influenza laboratory-negative patients. We used logistic regression with study site as fixed effect and calculated adjusted influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE), controlling for potential confounders (age group, sex, month of symptom onset, chronic diseases and related hospitalisations, number of practitioner visits in the previous year). Adjusted IVE was 25% (95% confidence intervals (CI): -6 to 47) among all ages (n=1,014), 63% (95% CI: 26 to 82) in adults aged between 15 and 59 years and 15% (95% CI: -33 to 46) among those aged 60 years and above. Adjusted IVE was 38% (95%CI: -8 to 65) in the early influenza season (up to week 6 of 2012) and -1% (95% CI: -60 to 37) in the late phase. The results suggested a low adjusted IVE in 2011/12. The lower IVE in the late season could be due to virus changes through the season or waning immunity. Virological surveillance should be enhanced to quantify change over time and understand its relation with duration of immunological protection. Seasonal influenza vaccines should be improved to achieve acceptable levels of protection.
    • Low coverage of seasonal influenza vaccination in the elderly in many European countries.

      Mereckiene, J; Cotter, S; Weber, J T; Nicoll, A; Lévy-Bruhl, D; Ferro, A; Tridente, G; Zanoni, G; Berra, P; Salmaso, S; O'Flanagan, D; Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin, Ireland. jolita.mereckiene@hse.ie (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2008-10-09)
    • A multi-country outbreak of Salmonella agona, February - August 2008.

      O'Flanagan, D; Cormican, M; McKeown, P; Nicolay, N; Cowden, J; Mason, B; Morgan, D; Lane, C; Irvine, N; Browning, L; Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Health Service Executive, Dublin, Ireland. darina.oflanagan@hse.ie (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2008-08-14)
    • National seasonal influenza vaccination survey in Europe, 2008.

      Mereckiene, J; Cotter, S; Nicoll, A; Levy-Bruhl, D; Ferro, A; Tridente, G; Zanoni, G; Berra, P; Salmaso, S; O'Flanagan, D; O Flanagan, D; Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin, Ireland. jolita.mereckiene@hse.ie (Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 2008-10-23)
      A cross-sectional survey was undertaken with the European Union (EU) Member States and Norway and Iceland to describe seasonal influenza immunisation in the 2006-7 season, in particular to identify country-specific recommendations for risk groups, obtain vaccine uptake information and allow comparison with global recommendations. A standardised questionnaire was completed electronically by each country's project gatekeeper. Of the 29 countries surveyed, 28 recommended seasonal influenza vaccination for older age groups (22 for those aged > 65 years), and in one country vaccine was recommended for all age groups. All countries recommended vaccinating patients with chronic pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases and most countries advised to immunise patients with haematologic or metabolic disorders (n=28), immunologic disorders (n=27) and renal disease (n=27), as well as residents of long-term care facilities (n=24). Most countries recommended vaccination for staff in hospitals (n=25), long-term care facilities (n=25) and outpatient clinics (n=23), and one-third had such recommendations for workers in essential (n=10), military (n=10) and veterinary services (n=10) and poultry industry (n=13). Eight countries recommended vaccine for pregnant women; and five advised to vaccinate children (with age limits ranging from 6 months to 5 years). Twenty countries measured influenza vaccine uptake among those aged > 65 years (range 1.8%-82.1%), seven reported uptake in healthcare workers (range 14%-48%) and seven assessed coverage in persons with underlying medical conditions (range 27.6%-75.2%). The data provided by this study can assist EU states to assess and compare their influenza vaccination programme performance with other countries. The information provides a comprehensive overview of policies and programmes and their outcomes and can be used to inform joint discussions on how the national policies in the EU might be standardised in the future to achieve optimal coverage. Annual surveys could be used to monitor changes in these national policies.