Background: The World Health Organization recommends that children aged ≥ 6 months be vaccinated against influenza. Influenza vaccination policies depend on the evidence of the burden of influenza, yet few national data on influenza-associated severe outcomes among children exist in China.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review of articles published from 1996 to 2012 on laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated paediatric respiratory hospitalizations in China. We extracted data and stratified the percentage of samples testing positive for influenza by age group (< 2, < 5 and < 18 years old); case definition; test methods; and geographic location. The pooled percentage of samples testing positive for influenza was estimated with a random effects regression model.
Results: Influenza was associated with 8.8% of respiratory hospitalizations among children aged < 18 years, ranging from 7.0% (95% confidence interval: 4.2-9.8%) in children aged < 2 years to 8.9% (95% confidence interval: 6.8-11%) in children aged < 5 years. The percentage of samples testing positive for influenza was consistently higher among studies with data from children aged < 5 years and < 18 years than those restricted only to children aged < 2 years; the percentages were higher in Northern China than Southern China.
Discussion: Influenza is an important cause of paediatric respiratory hospitalizations in China. Influenza vaccination of school-aged children could prevent substantial influenza-associated illness, including hospitalizations, in China.
|Journal||Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal : WPSAR|
|Issue number||5 Suppl 1|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|