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Influenza-associated disease burden in Kenya: a systematic review of literature.

Emukule, G.O., Paget, J., Velden, K. van der, Mott, J.A. Influenza-associated disease burden in Kenya: a systematic review of literature. PLoS One: 2015, 10(9), p. e0138708.
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In Kenya data on the burden of influenza disease are needed to inform influenza control policies.

We conducted a systematic review of published data describing the influenza disease burden in Kenya using surveillance data collected until December 2013. We included studies with laboratory confirmation of influenza, well-defined catchment populations, case definitions used to sample patients for testing and a description of the laboratory methods used for influenza testing. Studies with or without any adjustments on the incidence rates were included.

Ten studies reporting the incidence of medically-attended and non-medically attended influenza were reviewed. For all age groups, the influenza positive proportion ranged from 5–10% among hospitalized patients, and 5–27% among all medically-attended patients (a combination of in- and outpatients). The adjusted incidence rate of hospitalizations with influenza among children <5 years ranged from 2.7–4.7 per 1,000 [5.7 per 1,000 in children <6 months old], and were 7–10 times higher compared to persons aged ≥5 years. The adjusted incidence of all medically-attended influenza among children aged <5 years ranged from 13.0–58.0 per 1,000 compared to 4.3–26.0 per 1,000 among persons aged ≥5 years.

Our review shows an expanding set of literature on disease burden associated with influenza in Kenya, with a substantial burden in children under five years of age. Hospitalizations with influenza in these children were 2–3 times higher than reported in the United States. These findings highlight the possible value of an influenza vaccination program in Kenya, with children <5 years and pregnant women being potentially important targets. (aut. ref.)