J Public Health (Oxf). 2019 May 15. pii: fdz053. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdz053. [Epub ahead of print]
Epidemiology of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Cases at a sentinel site in Egypt, 2013-15.

Elhakim MM1, Kandil SK1, Abd Elaziz KM1, Anwar WA1.
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Sentinel surveillance for severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) in Egypt began in 2006 and occurs at eight sites. Avian influenza is endemic, and human cases of influenza A (H5N1) have been reported annually since 2006. This study aimed to describe the epidemiology of SARI at a major sentinel site in the country.

Data included in the study were collected from a major SARI sentinel site in Egypt during three consecutive years (2013-15).

A total of 1254 SARI patients conforming to the WHO case definition were admitted to the sentinel site, representing 5.6% of admitted patients for all causes and 36.6% of acute respiratory infection patients. A total of 99.7% of the patients were tested, and 21.04% tested positive; 48.7% of cases involved influenza A viruses, while 25% involved influenza B. The predominant age group was under 5 years of age, accounting for 443 cases. The seasonality of the influenza data conformed to the Northern Hemisphere pattern.

The present study's results show that SARI leads to substantial morbidity in Egypt. There is a great need for high-quality data from the SARI surveillance system in Egypt, especially with endemic respiratory threats such as influenza A (H5N1) in Egypt.
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Egypt; influenza; sentinel surveillance; severe acute respiratory infection

PMID: 31090911 DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdz053