Role of preschool and primary school children in epidemics of influenza a in a local community in Japan during two consecutive seasons with a(H3N2) as a predominant subtype

Satoshi Mimura, Taro Kamigaki, Yoshihiro Takahashi, Takamichi Umenai, Mataka Kudou, Hitoshi Oshitani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Enhanced influenza surveillance was implemented to analyze transmission dynamics particularly driving force of influenza transmission in a community during 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons in Odate City, Japan. In these two consecutive seasons, influenza A(H3N2) was the predominant influenza A subtype. Suspected influenza cases were tested by commercial rapid test kits. Demographic and epidemiological information of influenza positive cases were recorded using a standardized questionnaire, which included age or age group, date of visit, date of fever onset, and the result of rapid test kit. Epidemiological parameters including epidemic midpoint (EM) and growth rate (GR) were analyzed. In 2012/13 season, numbers of influenza A positive cases were significantly lower among preschool (212 cases) and primary school (224 cases) children than in 2011/12 season (461 and 538 cases, respectively). Simultaneously, total influenza A cases were also reduced from 2,092 in 2011/12 season to 1,846 in 2012/13 season. The EMs in preschool and primary school children were earlier than EMs for adult and all age group in both 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. The GR in 2012/13 season was significantly lower than that in 2011/12 season (0.11 and 0.18, respectively, p = 0.003). Multiple linear regression analysis by school districts revealed that GRs in both seasons were significantly correlated with the incidence of school age children. Our findings suggest that preschool and primary school children played an important role as a driving force of epidemics in the community in both 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. The reduction of total influenza A cases in 2012/13 season can be explained by decreased susceptible population in these age groups due to immunity acquired by infections in 2011/12 season. Further investigations are needed to investigate the effect of preexisting immunity on influenza transmission in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0125642
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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