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National burden of influenza in Kenya


Influenza-associated respiratory illness was substantial during the emergence of the 2009 influenza pandemic in Kenya. However, recent national estimates of influenza burden in the post-pandemic period are unavailable to guide influenza vaccine policy in Kenya. We updated national estimates of the burden of hospitalised and non-hospitalized influenza-associated severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) during a post-pandemic period (2012-2014) and described the incidence of influenza-associated SARI by narrow age categories in order to guide influenza vaccine policy in Kenya. The mean annual rate of hospitalized influenza-associated SARI among all ages was 21 (95% CI 19-23) per 100,000 persons, while rates of non-hospitalized influenza-associated SARI were approximately 4 times higher at 82 (95% CI 74– 90) per 100,000 persons. Influenza virus was associated with substantial disease burden in Kenya, especially among very young children, <2 years of age who should be prioritised for influenza prevention strategies.