[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are no published data on influenza trends in Angola, where pneumonia is a leading cause of death among young children. This study aims to describe the seasonal trends, types, and subtypes of influenza virus recovered from patients with respiratory illness who were admitted to the major children's hospital in Angola from May 2009 through April 2011. Nasal and oral swabs were collected from patients seen in the outpatient clinic with influenza-like illness (ILI) or hospitalized with severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and tested for influenza virus by polymerase chain reaction assays. Of 691 samples collected, 334 (48%) were from case patients with ILI, and 357 (52%) were from case patients with SARI. Most (86%) of these children were <5 years of age. Thirty-nine samples (47% SARI, 53% outpatient) tested positive for influenza virus, including 2009 pandemic influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (A[H1N1]pdm09; n = 9), influenza A virus subtype H3, likely H3N2 (n = 12), and influenza B virus (n = 18). The proportion of specimens positive for influenza virus was 5% for ILI cases and 6% for SARI cases. After the peak of A(H1N1)pdm09 infection from May through September of 2009, additional peaks of ILI and SARI were seen, especially during February-April 2010. Influenza virus causes a small but preventable number of pneumonia cases among children in Angola.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 12/2012; 206 Suppl 1(suppl 1):S136-9. DOI:10.1093/infdis/jis534 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the burden of influenza in sub-Saharan Africa. Routine influenza surveillance is key to getting a better understanding of the impact of acute respiratory infections on sub-Saharan African populations.
A project known as Strengthening Influenza Sentinel Surveillance in Africa (SISA) was launched in Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zambia to help improve influenza sentinel surveillance, including both epidemiological and virological data collection, and to develop routine national, regional and international reporting mechanisms. These countries received technical support through remote supervision and onsite visits. Consultants worked closely with health ministries, the World Health Organization, national influenza laboratories and other stakeholders involved in influenza surveillance.
Influenza surveillance systems in the target countries were in different stages of development when SISA was launched. Senegal, for instance, had conducted virological surveillance for years, whereas Sierra Leone had no surveillance activity at all.
Working documents such as national surveillance protocols and procedures were developed or updated and training for sentinel site staff and data managers was organized.
Targeted support to countries can help them strengthen national influenza surveillance, but long-term sustainability can only be achieved with external funding and strong national government leadership.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 04/2012; 90(4):301-5. DOI:10.2471/BLT.11.098244 · 5.09 Impact Factor