Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality

Case Definition (Updated September 2011)

A pediatric influenza-associated death is defined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be influenza by an appropriate laboratory or rapid diagnositc test in a person aged <18 years.

A death should not be reported if:

  • There is no laboratory confirmation of influenza virus infection.
  • The influenza illness is followed by full recovery to baseline health status prior to death.
  • The death occurs in a person 18 years or older.
  • After review and consultation there is an alternative agreed upon cause of death

Laboratory criteria for diagnosis

Laboratory testing for influenza virus infection may be done on pre- or post-mortem clinical specimens, and include identification of influenza A or B virus infections by a positive result by at least one of the following:

  • Commercial rapid influenza diagnostic testing of respiratory specimens;
  • Influenza virus isolation in tissue cell culture from respiratory specimens;
  • Direct or indirect fluorescent antibody staining or respiratory specimens;
  • Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) testing of respiratory specimens;
  • Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing of respiratory specimens;
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining for influenza viral antigens in respiratory tract issue from autopsy specmiens

To report a pediatric influenza death, please contact either:

  • Jill Baber
  • Influenza Surveillance Coordinator
  • North Dakota Department of Health
  • Phone: 800-472-2180 or 701-328-2378
  • Michelle Feist
  • Influenza Program Manager
  • North Dakota Department of Health
  • Phone: 800-472-2180 or 701-328-2378