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Seroevidence for H5N1 Influenza Infections in Humans: Meta-Analysis

Science  23 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6075, pp. 1463
DOI: 10.1126/science.1218888

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Abstract

The prevalence of avian H5N1 influenza A infections in humans has not been definitively determined. Cases of H5N1 infection in humans confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) are fewer than 600 in number, with an overall case fatality rate of >50%. We hypothesize that the stringent criteria for confirmation of a human case of H5N1 by WHO do not account for a majority of infections but rather the select few hospitalized cases that are more likely to be severe and result in poor clinical outcome. Meta-analysis shows that 1 to 2% of more than 12,500 study participants from 20 studies had seroevidence for prior H5N1 infection.

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