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S Afr Med J. 2009 Oct;99(10):750-4.

Influenza- and respiratory syncytial virus-associated adult mortality in Soweto.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. karstaedt@mweb.co.za

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections cause seasonal excess mortality and hospitalisation in adults (particularly the elderly) in high-income countries. Little information exists on the impact of these infections on adults in Africa.

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate influenza- and RSV-related adult mortality, stratified by age and hospitalisation in Soweto.

STUDY DESIGN:

A retrospective hospital-based study in Soweto from 1997 to 1999 to estimate influenza- and RSV-related excess all-cause deaths and hospitalisation using a rate-difference method. The study was based on influenza seasons of varying severity, provided by surveillance data.

RESULTS:

Influenza seasons were significantly associated with excess mortality in adults across all 3 years, except for 18 - 64-year-olds in 1998. Excess mortality was highest in those > or = 65 years of age: 82.8/100 000 population in the mild 1997 season and 220.9/100 000 in the severe 1998 season. Influenza significantly increased adult medical hospitalisation in the severe 1998 season alone. RSV did not significantly affect mortality or hospitalisation.

CONCLUSION:

Influenza-related mortality was substantial and disproportionately affected the elderly. Influenza vaccination for the elderly warrants consideration. The RSV-related burden was not significantly increased but merits observation over a longer period.

PMID:
20128275
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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