As the regional influenza reference centre operating within the Italian network InfluNet, here we report data on virological and epidemiological surveillance of influenza, as well as on the vaccination coverage rates achieved in Lombardy (Northern Italy) over 10 consecutive winter seasons (2004-2014). Over the past 10 years, influenza vaccine coverage declined both in the general population (from 15.7% in 2004-2005 to 11.7% in 2013-2014) and in the vaccine-target population of individuals ?65-y-of-age (from 65.3% in 2004-2005 to 48.6% in 2013-2014) and is far below the minimum planned threshold level (75%). The highest influenza-like illness (ILI) rates were recorded during the 2004-2005 and 2009-2010 epidemics (peak incidence: 12.04‰ and 13.28‰, respectively). Both seasons were characterised by the introduction of novel viral strains: A/Fujian/411/2002(H3N2) (a drifted hemagglutinin variant) and A/California/7/2009(H1N1) pandemic virus (a swine origin quadruple reassortant), respectively. Because the antigenic match between vaccine and circulating strains was good in both of these seasons, a relevant proportion of cases may have been prevented by vaccination. A different situation was observed during the 2011-2012 season, when ILI morbidity rates in individuals ?65-y-of-age were 1.5-6-fold higher than those registered during the other epidemics under review. The higher morbidity resulted from the circulation during the 2011-2012 season of an A/Victoria/361/2011(H3N2)-like variant that presented a reduced genetic match with the A(H3N2) strain included in the 2011-2012 vaccine composition. The continuous surveillance of the characteristics of circulating viruses is an essential tool for monitoring their matching with seasonal vaccine strains. Strategies to increase coverage rates are warranted.
Measles and rubella are infectious diseases and humans are the only reservoir of these infections. Effective vaccines are available with the potential for measles (MV) and rubella (RuV) virus eradication. According to the World Health Organisation WHO guidelines, a national plan was approved in Italy in 2013 to achieve the MV/RuV elimination by 2015, and active MV/RuV integrated surveillance initiated. Towards this purpose, a regional laboratory centre was set up on 1 September 2013 in Lombardy, Northern Italy. This paper aimed at: (1) evaluating measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage and MV/RuV notified cases retrospectively; and (2) presenting the results of MV/RuV integrated surveillance (laboratory confirmed and viral genetic profiles). The 95% target for MMR vaccine coverage was achieved in 2001, and coverage increased until 2007 (96.6%), but then a decreasing trend was observed. Since 2000 to 2014, 3,026 rubella cases were notified, with nearly 58% of them in the 2002 epidemic. From 2009, less than 45 RuV cases per year were reported. From 2000 to 2014, 5024 measles cases were notified. Since 2008, three large outbreaks (in 2008, 2011, and 2013) were observed. From data obtained during our surveillance activity, there were no rubella cases, and 57.5% (46/80) collected samples were MV-positive by real-time RT-PCR. A fragment of the MV N gene was sequenced from 37 MV-positive samples; D8, D9, and B3 genotypes were detected. Data obtained retrospectively and from active surveillance underline the necessity to achieve and maintain high vaccination coverage and to improve surveillance and the effectiveness of healthcare actions.
To assess the relationship between surgical delay and mortality in elderly patients with hip fracture. Systematic review and meta-analysis of retrospective and prospective studies published from 1948 to 2011. Medline (from 1948), Embase (from 1974) and CINAHL (from 1982), and the Cochrane Library. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for each study were extracted and pooled with a random effects model. Heterogeneity, publication bias, bayesian analysis, and meta-regression analyses were done. Criteria for inclusion were retro- and prospective elderly population studies, patients with operated hip fractures, indication of timing of surgery and survival status.
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