Ohio State University
Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (pandemic H1N1) is spreading throughout the planet. It has become the dominant strain in the Southern Hemisphere, where the influenza season has now ended. Here, on the basis of reported case clusters in the United States, we estimated the household secondary attack rate for pandemic H1N1 to be 27.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) from 12.2% to 50.5%]. From a school outbreak, we estimated that a typical schoolchild infects 2.4 (95% CI from 1.8 to 3.2) other children within the school. We estimated the basic reproductive number, R0, to range from 1.3 to 1.7 and the generation interval to range from 2.6 to 3.2 days. We used a simulation model to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination strategies in the United States for fall 2009. If a vaccine were available soon enough, vaccination of children, followed by adults, reaching 70% overall coverage, in addition to high-risk and essential workforce groups, could mitigate a severe epidemic.