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J Infect Dis. 2012 Dec 1;206(11):1674-84. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis591. Epub 2012 Sep 14.

Influenza and malaria coinfection among young children in western Kenya, 2009-2011.

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  • 1Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA. isq8@cdc.gov



Although children <5 years old in sub-Saharan Africa are vulnerable to both malaria and influenza, little is known about coinfection.


This retrospective, cross-sectional study in rural western Kenya examined outpatient visits and hospitalizations associated with febrile acute respiratory illness (ARI) during a 2-year period (July 2009-June 2011) in children <5 years old.


Across sites, 45% (149/331) of influenza-positive patients were coinfected with malaria, whereas only 6% (149/2408) of malaria-positive patients were coinfected with influenza. Depending on age, coinfection was present in 4%-8% of outpatient visits and 1%-3% of inpatient admissions for febrile ARI. Children with influenza were less likely than those without to have malaria (risk ratio [RR], 0.57-0.76 across sites and ages), and children with malaria were less likely than those without to have influenza (RR, 0.36-0.63). Among coinfected children aged 24-59 months, hospital length of stay was 2.7 and 2.8 days longer than influenza-only-infected children at the 2 sites, and 1.3 and 3.1 days longer than those with malaria only (all P < .01).


Coinfection with malaria and influenza was uncommon but associated with longer hospitalization than single infections among children 24-59 months of age.

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