Community surveillance found the 2019–2020 A(H1N1)pdm09 predominant influenza season in Israel to be a high-intensity season with an early and steep morbidity peak. To further characterize disease severity in the 2019–2020 season, we analyzed a cohort of hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza from this season (n = 636). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed on clinical samples to detect the presence of influenza. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were retrieved via electronic health records and MDClone. Electronic health records were accessed to obtain data on intensive care unit patients, missing data and for data verification purposes. Univariate analysis was performed to compare demographic, comorbidity, and clinical characteristics across the three influenza strains. The A(H1N1)pdm09 predominant 2019–2020 influenza season in Israel was characterized by an early and steep morbidity peak, vaccine delays and shortages, and with the A(H3N2) and B/Victoria strains disproportionately targeting children and young adults, most probably due to reduced immunity to these strains. A greater proportion of children <5 years infected with A(H3N2) and B/Victoria developed severe influenza compared with those infected with A(H1N1)pdm09. Our study emphasizes the vulnerability of infants and young children in the face of rapidly evolving influenza strains and underscores the importance of influenza prevention measures in this population.
- respiratory virus