We conducted a pair of cross sectional serologic surveys before and after the spring/fall waves of the pandemic for evidence of seropositivity (titer ≥40) using the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. We tested a baseline sample of 1,142 serum specimens from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and 2,759 serum specimens submitted for routine screening to clinical diagnostic laboratories from ten representative sites.
2009 pandemic influenza A/H1N1 (A(H1N1)pdm09) was first detected in the United States in April 2009 and resulted in a global pandemic. We conducted a serologic survey to estimate the cumulative incidence of A(H1N1)pdm09 through the end of 2009 when pandemic activity had waned in the United States.
The age-adjusted prevalence of seropositivity to A(H1N1)pdm09 by year-end 2009 was 36.9% (95%CI: 31.7-42.2%). After adjusting for baseline cross-reactive antibody, pandemic vaccination coverage and the sensitivity/specificity of the HI assay, we estimate that 20.2% (95%CI: 10.1-28.3%) of the population was infected with A(H1N1)pdm09 by December 2009, including 53.3% (95%CI: 39.0-67.1%) of children aged 5-17 years.
By December 2009, approximately one-fifth of the US population, or 61.9 million persons, may have been infected with A(H1N1)pdm09, including around half of school-aged children.