Published Date: 2009-07-30 14:00:06
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (20): Peru, 33 percent asymptomatic
Archive Number: 20090730.2668
INFLUENZA PANDEMIC (H1N1) 2009 (20): PERU, 33 PERCENT ASYMPTOMATIC
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 30 Jul 2009
Source: El Diario (Peru), Andina (Peruvian News Agency) report [in
Spanish, trans. Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ, edited]
33 percent of cases asymptomatic
The Ministry of Health (MINSA) revealed that 33 percent of people
infected with influenza (H1N1) [influenza pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus]
are asymptomatic, that is, they present no symptoms of the disease.
MINSA's director general of epidemiology, Jose Bolarte, said that of
the cases of infection reported so far, 37 percent show some of the
symptoms related to the common cold, such as nasal congestion, sore
throat, headache, and even body aches. Nevertheless, there is no
fever, or at least not the high fever characteristic of influenza
(H1N1), which is higher than 39 deg C [102.2 deg F] and requires
immediate medical care.
"The patients do not necessarily consult a health center or seek
medical attention because they recover in 3 or 4 days with
conventional medicines, a healthy diet, and plenty of liquids," Bolarte said.
He added that, according to statistics, another 30 percent of people
infected with influenza (H1N1) can show all the symptoms of the
disease. Therefore, prompt and adequate care by health services is
required paying particular attention to the 'risk groups,' such as
children younger than 5 years of age, the elderly, persons with
depressed immune systems -- such as those with tuberculosis or who
are HIV positive --, persons with hypertension, diabetes, Down
syndrome, bronchial asthma, and pregnant women, among others.
Bolarte noted that in Peru less than one percent of the patients with
influenza (H1N1) die and that, furthermore, to date the number of
patients who respond well to treatment and are discharged exceeds 80
percent of the total cases.
He explained that when people contract influenza (H1N1) and recover
with medical treatment, they won't become re-infected because their
body generates the specific defenses against this type [that is, the
homologous strain] of virus and prevents the infection from recurring.
Bolarte emphasized that MINSA has an epidemiological and virological
surveillance system in place, which tracks the behavior of diseases
such as influenza in its seasonal and (H1N1) variants.
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall
[These are valuable statistics. One hopes this survey will be
extended to determine the level of immune responses in both
symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. If the 33 percent
asymptomatic individuals have developed a protective immune response,
about 2/3 of the population might not require vaccination.
According to WHO, as of 22 Jul 2009 there have bee 2671 cases of
influenza pandemic (H1N1) virus infection in Peru, and 12 deaths. - Mod.CP]
[The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Peru is available at
<http://healthmap.org/r/00Dq>. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]