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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - PloS one
Title Estimating influenza and respiratory syncytial virus-associated mortality in Western Kenya using health and demographic surveillance system data, 2007-2013
Volume 12
Issue 7
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers e0180890
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0180890

Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) associated mortality has not been well-established in tropical Africa.


We used the negative binomial regression method and the rate-difference method (i.e. deaths during low and high influenza/RSV activity months), to estimate excess mortality attributable to influenza and RSV using verbal autopsy data collected through a health and demographic surveillance system in Western Kenya, 2007–2013. Excess mortality rates were calculated for a) all-cause mortality, b) respiratory deaths (including pneumonia), c) HIV-related deaths, and d) pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) related deaths.


Using the negative binomial regression method, the mean annual all-cause excess mortality rate associated with influenza and RSV was 14.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.0–93.3) and 17.1 (95% CI 0.0–111.5) per 100,000 person-years (PY) respectively; and 10.5 (95% CI 0.0–28.5) and 7.3 (95% CI 0.0–27.3) per 100,000 PY for respiratory deaths, respectively. Highest mortality rates associated with influenza were among ≥50 years, particularly among persons with TB (41.6[95% CI 0.0–122.7]); and with RSV were among <5 years. Using the rate-difference method, the excess mortality rate for influenza and RSV was 44.8 (95% CI 36.8–54.4) and 19.7 (95% CI 14.7–26.5) per 100,000 PY, respectively, for all-cause deaths; and 9.6 (95% CI 6.3–14.7) and 6.6 (95% CI 3.9–11.0) per 100,000 PY, respectively, for respiratory deaths.


Our study shows a substantial excess mortality associated with influenza and RSV in Western Kenya, especially among children <5 years and older persons with TB, supporting recommendations for influenza vaccination and efforts to develop RSV vaccines.

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