A new study titled: Global Role and Burden of Influenza in Pediatric Respiratory Hospitalizations: A Systematic Analysis (GRIPP) appeared in PLoS Medicine on 22 March 2016 confirming that increasing influenza vaccination coverage among young children and pregnant women could reduce this burden and protect infants less than 6 months.
The analysis was led by Kathryn Lafond and Marc-Alain Widdowson at the Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta GA USA. Investigators from more than 50 institutions participated in the estimation of the burden of influenza-associated hospitalizations. Investigators from the MRC Unit The Gambia (MRCG) Dr Stephen Howie, Dr Momodou Jasseh and Dr Anna Roca, participated in the analysis and generation of data and are co-authors of this study.
“To conduct systematic reviews evaluating disease burden is important to generate data that would help to design interventions aimed at reducing disease burden and associated hospitalizations. This systematic review accurately shows that influenza is an important contributor to pediatric hospitalizations with acute respiratory infections and that, once again, the highest rates are among African children.” Dr Anna Roca, Theme Coordinator Disease Control & Elimination and co-author of this study.
Data was aggregated from a systematic review and influenza surveillance platforms in 34 countries from 1982 to 2012 to calculate a pooled estimate of the proportion of samples collected from children hospitalized with respiratory disease and positive for influenza by age group (<6 months, <1, <2, <5, 5-17, and <18 years). This proportion was applied to global estimates of acute lower respiratory hospitalizations among children aged <1 and <5 years, to obtain the number and rate of influenza-associated hospitalizations by geographic region and socioeconomic status.
The results finding shows that influenza-associated hospitalization rates were more than three times higher in developing countries, as compared to industrialized countries (150/100,000 population versus 48/100,000), which confirms that increasing influenza vaccination coverage among young children and pregnant women could reduce this burden and protect infants less than 6 months.
Read more about the study on the PLoS Medicine website on http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/