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Epidemiological analysis of respiratory viral etiology for influenza-like illness during 2010 in Zhuhai, China

Hongxia Li1*, Quande Wei1, Aijun Tan1 and Leyi Wang2

Author Affiliations

1 Microbiology Laboratory, Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangdong Province, 519000, China

2 Division of Infectious Diseases, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 45229, USA

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:143  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-143

Published: 7 May 2013

Abstract

Background

Influenza-like illnesses (ILI), a subset of acute respiratory infections (ARI), are a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. ILI can be caused by numerous pathogens, however; there is limited information on the etiology and epidemiology of ILI in China.

Methods

We performed a one-year surveillance study (2010) of viral etiology causing ILI and investigated the influence of climate on outbreaks of ILI attributed to viruses at the Outpatient Department of Zhuhai Municipal People’s Hospital in Zhuhai, China.

Results

Of the 337,272 outpatients who sought attention in the Outpatient Department of Zhuhai Municipal People’s Hospital in 2010, 3,747 (1.11%) presented with ILI. Of these patients presenting with ILI, 24.66% (924/3,747) had available samples and were enrolled in this study. At least one respiratory virus was identified in 411 patients (44.48%) and 42 (4.55%) were co-infected with two viruses. In patients co-infected with two viruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was detected in 50% (21/42). Among common viral pathogens detected, significant differences in age distributions were observed in seasonal influenza virus A (sFulA, H3N2) and B (sFluB), pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza viruses (H1N1pdm09), RSV, and adenovirus (ADV). Infections with sFluA (H3N2), sFluB, RSV, and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) had characteristic seasonal patterns. The incidences of sFluA (H3N2), ADV, and RSV correlated with air temperature. Alternatively, the incidence of sFluB correlated with relative air humidity.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that a wide range of respiratory viral pathogens are circulating in Zhuhai city. This information needs to be considered by clinicians when treating patients presenting with ILI.

Keywords:
Influenza-like illness (ILI); Respiratory viral pathogens; Epidemiological analysis; Meteorology