BACKGROUND: In Kenya, detailed data on the age-specific burden of influenza and RSV are essential to inform use of limited vaccination and treatment resources.
METHODS: We analyzed surveillance data from August 2009 to July 2012 for hospitalized severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and outpatient influenza-like illness (ILI) at two health facilities in western Kenya to estimate the burden of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Incidence rates were estimated by dividing the number of cases with laboratory-confirmed virus infections by the mid-year population. Rates were adjusted for healthcare-seeking behavior, and to account for patients who met the SARI/ILI case definitions but were not tested.
RESULTS: The average annual incidence of influenza-associated SARI hospitalization per 1,000 persons was 2.7 (95% CI 1.8-3.9) among children <5 years and 0.3 (95% CI 0.2-0.4) among persons ≥5 years; for RSV-associated SARI hospitalization, it was 5.2 (95% CI 4.0-6.8) among children <5 years and 0.1 (95% CI 0.0-0.2) among persons ≥5 years. The incidence of influenza-associated medically-attended ILI per 1,000 was 24.0 (95% CI 16.6-34.7) among children <5 years and 3.8 (95% CI 2.6-5.7) among persons ≥5 years. The incidence of RSV-associated medically-attended ILI was 24.6 (95% CI 17.0-35.4) among children <5 years and 0.8 (95% CI 0.3-1.9) among persons ≥5 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Influenza and RSV both exact an important burden in children. This highlights the possible value of influenza vaccines, and future RSV vaccines, for Kenyan children.