Professor and Head
Hong Kong University
During August 2012-November 2014, we conducted a case ascertainment study to investigate household transmission of influenza virus in Managua, Nicaragua. We collected up to 5 respiratory swab samples from each of 536 household contacts of 133 influenza virus-infected persons and assessed for evidence of influenza virus transmission. The overall risk for influenza virus infection of household contacts was 15.7% (95% CI 12.7%-19.0%). Oseltamivir treatment of index patients did not appear to reduce household transmission. The mean serial interval for within-household transmission was 3.1 (95% CI 1.6-8.4) days. We found the transmissibility of influenza B virus to be higher than that of influenza A virus among children. Compared with households with 4 household contacts appeared to have a reduced risk for infection. Further research is needed to model household influenza virus transmission and design interventions for these settings.