BACKGROUND: Physicians have several treatment options for influenza, including vaccination and various antiviral therapies. However, the optimal influenza prevention and treatment strategy is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To compare the relative health values of contemporary treatment strategies for influenza in a healthy sample of working adults. DESIGN: Cost-benefit analysis using a decision model. DATA SOURCES: Previously published data. TARGET POPULATION: Healthy employed adults 18 to 50 years of age. TIME HORIZON: A complete influenza season. PERSPECTIVE: Societal. INTERVENTIONS: Eight treatment options (yes or no) based on the possible combinations of vaccination and antiviral therapy (rimantadine, oseltamivir, or zanamivir or no treatment) should infection develop. OUTCOME MEASURES: Cost in U.S. dollars, including the value of symptom relief and medication side effects, which was assigned a monetary value through a conjoint analysis that used a "willingness-to-pay" approach. RESULTS: In the base-case analysis, all strategies for influenza vaccination had a higher net benefit than the nonvaccination strategies. Vaccination and use of rimantadine, the most cost-beneficial strategy, was $30.97 more cost-beneficial than nonvaccination and no use of antiviral medication. The health benefits of most antiviral treatments equaled or exceeded their costs for most scenarios. The choice of the most cost-beneficial antiviral strategy was sensitive to the prevalence of influenza B and to the comparative workdays gained by each antiviral therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination is cost-beneficial in most influenza seasons in healthy working adults. Although the benefits of antiviral therapy for persons with influenza infection appear to justify its cost, head-to-head trials of the various antiviral therapies are needed to determine the optimal treatment strategy.
BACKGROUND: The increasing use of varicella vaccine in children attending day care has rapidly decreased the incidence of wild-type varicella disease. The herd immunity noted is significant and will have an effect on the epidemiology of natural varicella. OBJECTIVE: To monitor the change in varicella incidence in day-care attendees after the licensure of varicella vaccine. DESIGN: A prospective observational cohort study design. SETTING: Eleven private day-care centers and preschools in North Carolina participated in the study from January 1, 1995, through December 31, 1999. PARTICIPANTS: All children in the 11 centers were eligible for participation. Some participated more actively, supplying information on a regular basis. Others participated passively. Day-care personnel provided information about all cases of varicella. INTERVENTIONS: None. MAIN OUTCOME VARIABLES: The change in the incidence of varicella disease was documented as the use of varicella vaccine increased. RESULTS: Varicella vaccine coverage increased substantially from 4.4% in 1995 to 63.1% in December 1999. The vaccination rate accelerated dramatically in 1996 and 1997, leveled off in 1998, and rose again in 1999. Cumulative varicella incidence decreased from 16.74 cases per 1000 person-months in July 1996 to 1.53 cases per 1000 person-months in December 1999 in unvaccinated children. CONCLUSIONS: The varicella vaccination rate continued to increase slowly in the day-care population after an initial rapid uptake. The decrease in varicella disease is greater than the increase in varicella vaccination. This herd effect is welcome and even apparent in the unvaccinated children younger than 1 year.
301 healthy adult volunteers were randomized to one of three treatment groups: inactivated hepatitis A vaccine alone; inactivated hepatitis A vaccine with immune globulin (Ig) concurrently; or Ig alone. The first two treatment groups received a second dose of hepatitis A vaccine at week 24. Anti-HAV was measured 4, 8, 12, 24 and 28 weeks after the primary immunization. When comparing subjects receiving inactivated hepatitis A vaccine alone to those receiving vaccine and Ig, the seropositivity rates were not significantly different at 4, 8, 12 and 28 weeks, but at week 24 the seropositivity rate was lower in the group receiving both vaccine and Ig compared to the group receiving vaccine alone (92.0% compared to 97.0%). At weeks 8, 12 and 24 the geometric mean titers (GMTs) were significantly lower for subjects receiving both vaccine and Ig. The GMTs were not significantly different after the second dose of vaccine. At all time points, the lower serum antibody concentrations observed in subjects receiving both inactivated hepatitis A vaccine and Ig were nevertheless substantially higher than the cutoff for assay seropositivity and much higher than after Ig alone; these differences are therefore clinically insignificant.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether day-care attendance was a risk factor for Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease, particularly for epiglottitis. METHODOLOGY: A case-control analysis of risk factors for invasive Hib disease was performed in Victoria, Australia between February 1988 and February 1990 prior to the introduction of immunization for Hib. A total of 210 cases and 367 day surgery hospital controls were enrolled prospectively. Data were collected by questionnaire at the time of admission. RESULTS: Logistic regression analysis showed that risk factors for meningitis were day-care attendance, household crowding and recent illness in a sibling. Risk factors for epiglottitis were day-care attendance and mother's birthplace in Australia or New Zealand. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that day-care attendance is a risk factor for Hib epiglottitis as well as meningitis. In addition, the mother's birthplace in Australia or New Zealand is a risk factor for epiglottitis in these data. The reason for this latter observation is unclear.
A total of 465 healthy infants and adolescents ages 12 months to 17 years without a known history of varicella or recent exposure to varicella-zoster virus VZV were immunized with live attenuated Oka/Merck varicella vaccine from November, 1984, through April, 1989. The vaccine administered was from 1 of 7 production lots containing from 950 to 3265 plaque-forming units and was well-tolerated with few side effects. The seroconversion rate for seronegative subjects was 94.6% (403 of 426). This varied by lot from 85% (950 plaque-forming units) to 100% (3010 and 3265 plaque-forming units). Breakthrough disease after exposure to varicella in seroconverters during 5 to 10 years of follow-up was 18.6% (75 of 403). The breakthrough disease was characterized by a maculopapular rash with a median of 35 lesions, most of which were macules. Breakthrough disease lasted a median of 5 days and the median temperature was 99 degrees F; 65.3% (49 of 75) of subjects were afebrile and 2.7% (2 of 75) of subjects had temperatures of > 102.9 degrees F. Varicella vaccine provides excellent (94.6%) seroconversion, and most children who developed breakthrough disease (18.6%) experienced a modified, milder form of illness than has been observed with natural varicella in unvaccinated subjects.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if the use of influenza vaccine in children in day care decreases the incidence of otitis media during the influenza season. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Eight day-care centers in North Carolina. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred eighty-six children aged 6 to 30 months. INTERVENTION: Half the participants received trivalent subvirion influenza virus vaccine. MEASUREMENTS: Acute otitis media (AOM) and serous otitis media (SOM) were assessed biweekly from mid-November 1993 to mid-March 1994 by visual and tympanometric examinations performed by "blinded" observers. The winter season was divided into three periods-before, during, and after influenza season--and the number of children with AOM or SOM during each period was determined. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were computed, while controlling for race and sex using logistic regression methods. RESULTS: Influenza vaccine was protective against AOM (OR = 0.69, 95% CI, 0.49-0.98) during the influenza season. Although there may have been some protection against SOM (OR = 0.75, 95% CI, 0.54-1.02) statistical significance was not achieved. Myringotomy tubes were also significantly protective against AOM and SOM during all three time periods, with ORs between 0.34 and 0.52, but the greatest protection was seen during the influenza period. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccination of 6- to 30-month-old children in day care was associated with a decreased incidence of otitis media during the influenza season. Myringotomy tubes protected against AOM and SOM during all 16 weeks monitored.
To determine and compare the cost of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease in Australia, Finland, Israel, Switzerland and the United Kingdom a collaborative study was undertaken. The incidence of Hib disease varies in these 5 countries from 34 to 58.5 cases per 100,000 children less than 5 years of age. Although the incidence of meningitis in this age group is similar (between 18 and 26/100,000) in these countries, the incidence of epiglottitis varies from 0 to 22.7/100,000. The cost of hospitalization and the frequency of sequelae are similar for 4 of the 5 countries; however, the break even cost of a vaccination program to prevent 90% of Hib disease is estimated to vary from $22 to $84 per child (US$). Because of a lower incidence of Hib disease and lower cost for hospitalization, these costs are considerably less than those for the United States ($301.64 using similar calculations).
Socioeconomic risk factors for primary invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease include factors that increase exposure to Hib (day care attendance, presence of siblings, and crowded households) and factors that increase an individual's susceptibility to Hib infections (short duration of breast feeding, parental smoking, and frequent infections in general). These factors are consistently found to be associated with risk of Hib disease in studies conducted in populations that differ in their Hib disease epidemiology. However, there are large differences in the prevalence of these risk factors among populations. According to present knowledge, variations in the prevalence of socioeconomic risk factors may explain most of the differences in the epidemiology of Hib disease and may also contribute to the differences in Hib vaccine efficacy in different populations.
Between 1984 and 1987 reported pertussis cases in North Carolina increased threefold. Pertussis immunization rates were examined for those years in three one-year cohorts drawn from a random selection of North Carolina birth records. The percentage of children immunized with three DTPs at eight months of age was 58.1, 58.6, and 56.7 for the three cohorts. Only 20.5 percent of 117 reported pertussis cases in children 9-36 months of age during the last 10 years were adequately immunized. The low pertussis immunization rate may have contributed to the recent increase in pertussis cases in North Carolina.