Influenza surveillance in Zambia, 2008-2009

The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Andros TheoMwaka Monze


Limited information exists about influenza viruses in Africa. We used data from a new sentinel surveillance system to investigate the seasonality and characteristics of influenza, including pandemic (pdm) influenza A H1N1, in Zambia. In June 2008, we established sentinel surveillance for influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) at 4 healthcare facilities in Zambia. Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs and structured questionnaires were collected from eligible patients and samples were tested by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction for influenza virus types and subtypes. From June 2008 to December 2009, we collected 1234 specimens, of which 334 (27%) were ILI, and 900 (63%) were SARI. Overall, 4% (57) of specimens were positive for influenza. The influenza detection rate in ILI and SARI cases was 5% (17/334) and 4% (40/900), respectively. Among all influenza cases, 54 (95%) were influenza A and 3 (5%) were influenza B. Of the influenza A viruses, 16 (30%) were A(H1N1)pdm09, 29 (54%) were seasonal A(H1N1), 6 (11%) were A(H3N2), and 4 (7%) were unsubtyped. The detection rate for A(H1N1)pdm09 cases was highest in persons aged 5-24 years (5/98; 5%), 25-44 years (4/78; 5%), and 4...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Disease Outbreaks
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