Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018 Dec 26. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0699. [Epub ahead of print]

Respiratory Viral Infection: An Underappreciated Cause of Acute Febrile Illness Admissions in Southern Sri Lanka.

Author information

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, North Carolina.
Duke-Ruhuna Collaborative Research Centre, Galle, Sri Lanka.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka.
Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, Sri Lanka.
General Sir Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka.


The contribution of respiratory viruses to acute febrile illness (AFI) burden is poorly characterized. We describe the prevalence, seasonality, and clinical features of respiratory viral infection among AFI admissions in Sri Lanka. We enrolled AFI patients ≥ 1 year of age admitted to a tertiary care hospital in southern Sri Lanka, June 2012-October 2014. We collected epidemiologic/clinical data and a nasal or nasopharyngeal sample that was tested using polymerase chain reaction (Luminex NxTAG). We determined associations between weather data and respiratory viral activity using the Spearman correlation and assessed respiratory virus seasonality using a Program for Appropriate Technology definition. Bivariable and multivariable regression analyses were conducted to identify features associated with respiratory virus detection. Among 964 patients, median age was 26.2 years (IQR 14.6-39.9) and 646 (67.0%) were male. One-fifth (203, 21.1%) had respiratory virus detected: 13.9% influenza, 1.4% human enterovirus/rhinovirus, 1.4% parainfluenza virus, 1.1% respiratory syncytial virus, and 1.1% human metapneumovirus. Patients with respiratory virus identified were younger (median 9.8 versus 27.7 years, P < 0.001) and more likely to have respiratory signs and symptoms. Influenza A and respiratory viral activity peaked in February-June each year. Maximum daily temperature was associated with influenza and respiratory viral activity (P = 0.03 each). Patients with respiratory virus were as likely as others to be prescribed antibiotics (55.2% versus 52.6%, P = 0.51), and none reported prior influenza vaccination. Respiratory viral infection was a common cause of AFI. Improved access to vaccines and respiratory diagnostics may help reduce disease burden and inappropriate antibiotic use.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Ingenta plc
Loading ...
Support Center