This paper presents a description of Peru’s experience with pandemic H1N1 influenza 2009. It is based on data from four main surveillance systems: a) ongoing sentinel surveillance of influenza-like illness cases with virological surveillance of influenza and other respiratory viruses; b) sentinel surveillance of severe acute respiratory infections and associated deaths; c) surveillance of acute respiratory infections in children under the age of five years and pneumonia in all age groups; and d) case and cluster surveillance. On 9 May 2009, the first confirmed case of pandemic H1N1 influenza in Peru was diagnosed in a Peruvian citizen returning from New York with a respiratory illness. By July, community transmission of influenza had been identified and until 27 September 2009, a total of 8,381 cases were confirmed. The incidence rate per 10,000 persons was 4.4 (in the 0–9 year-olds) and 4.1 (in the 10–19 year-olds). During epidemiological weeks (EW)* 26 to 37, a total of 143 fatal cases were notified (a case fatality of 1.71%, based on confirmed cases). The maximum peak in the number of cases was reached in EW 30 with 37 deaths. Currently, the impact of the pandemic in the Peruvian population has not been too severe, and fortunately, healthcare centres have not been overwhelmed. However, the future of this pandemic is uncertain and despite the fact that our country has not been seriously affected, we should be prepared for upcoming pandemic waves.
Gómez J, Munayco CV, Arrasco JC, Suarez L, Laguna-Torres VA, Aguilar PV, Chowell G, Kochel TJ. Pandemic influenza in a southern hemisphere setting: the experience in Peru from May to September, 2009. Euro Surveill. 2009;14(42):pii=19371. Available online: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle. aspx?ArticleId=19371