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First data announced on influenza burden in Kenya

First data announced on influenza burden in Kenya

The influenza virus is an important cause of respiratory infections in young children in Kenya, compared to the same group in the United States or Europe. This is shown by PhD research by Gideon Emukule, who works at the Primary Care Department of the Radboudumc. With data from Emukule Kenya may improve their strategies against influenza, including in the field of vaccination. The review was published in PLOS ONE.

In Kenya, data on influenza burden are necessary to inform politicians regarding their policies. Emukule provided this information using data collected at five different locations in Kenya starting from 2007. Emukule shows that influenza is a major cause of respiratory infections, especially among children under five.

The number of hospital visits of young children with respiratory infections caused by influenza was shown to be significantly higher than in the European Union and United States. In children younger than six months, this number is even higher, with a clear peak in the refugee camps.

Most studies have been performed by the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to now, flu and related influenza complications seems to be a 'forgotten' problem in Africa. In western countries, the adverse effects of severe influenza infections are well known, but that doesn’t (yet) apply for many developing countries.The study of Emukule can provide a frame work for to the policy in Kenya.

Source: PLOS ONE, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical

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