Emergence, Epidemiology, and Transmission Dynamics of 2009 Pandemic A/H1N1 Influenza in Kampala, Uganda, 2009-2015.


In sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about the epidemiology of pandemic-prone influenza viruses in urban settings. Using data from a prospective sentinel surveillance network, we characterized the emergence, epidemiology, and transmission dynamics of 2009 pandemic A/H1N1 influenza (H1N1pdm09) in Kampala, Uganda. After virus introduction via international air travel from England in June 2009, we estimated the basic reproductive number in Kampala to be 1.06-1.13, corresponding to attack rates of 12-22%. We subsequently identified 613 cases of influenza in Kampala from 2009 to 2015, of which 191 (31.2%) were infected with H1N1pdm09. Patients infected with H1N1pdm09 were more likely to be older adult (ages 35-64) males with illness onset during rainy season months. Urban settings in sub-Saharan Africa are vulnerable to importation and intense transmission of pandemic-prone influenza viruses. Enhanced surveillance and influenza pandemic preparedness in these settings is needed.

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