BACKGROUND - The Respiratory Infections in Andean Peruvian Children (RESPIRA-PERU) study enrolled children who participated in a community-cluster randomized trial of improved stoves, solar water disinfection, and kitchen sinks (IHIP trial) and children from additional Andean households. We quantified the burden of influenza-associated acute respiratory illness (ARI) in this household-based cohort.
METHODS - From May 2009 to September 2011, we conducted active weekly ARI surveillance in 892 children age <3 years, of whom 272 (30.5%) had participated in the IHIP trial. We collected nasal swabs during ARI, tested for influenza and other respiratory viruses by RT-PCR, and determined influenza incidence and risk factors using mixed-effects regression models.
RESULTS - The overall incidence of influenza-associated ARI was 36.6/100 child-years; incidence of influenza A, B, and C was 20.5, 8.7, and 5.2/100 child-years, respectively. Influenza C was associated with fewer days of subjective fever (median 1 vs. 2) and malaise (median 0 vs. 2) compared to influenza A. Non-influenza ARI also resulted in fewer days of fever and malaise, and fewer healthcare visits than influenza A-associated ARI. Influenza incidence varied by calendar year (80% occurred in the 2010 season) and IHIP trial participation. Among households that participated in the IHIP trial, influenza-associated ARI incidence was significantly lower in intervention than in control households (RR 0.40, 95% CI: 0.20-0.82).
CONCLUSIONS - Influenza burden is high among Andean children. ARI associated with influenza A and B had longer symptom duration and higher healthcare utilization than influenza C-associated ARI or non-influenza ARI. Environmental community interventions may reduce influenza morbidity.