Background: Year-round transmission of influenza has been detected in Vietnam through both national surveillance and other epidemiological studies. Understanding the demographic and clinical features of influenza-like illness (ILI) presenting to primary care in urban Vietnam is vital to understand these transmission dynamics. Methods: An observational study of patients with ILI in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, was conducted between August 2013 and November 2015 in a mix of public and private primary care settings. Molecular testing for influenza A and influenza B and 12 other respiratory viruses was performed. Results: A total of 1152 ILI patients were recruited. 322 and 136 subjects tested positive for influenza A and influenza B, respectively. 193 subjects tested positive for another respiratory virus; most commonly rhinovirus and parainfluenza virus 3. Influenza was detected in 81% of the 116 study weeks. Three peaks of influenza activity were detected; an H3N2 peak April-June 2014, an influenza B peak July-December 2014, and a mixed H3N2 and H1N1 peak March-September 2015. Subjects recruited from private clinics were more likely to have higher income and to have reported previous influenza vaccination. Antibiotic use was common (50.3%) despite limited evidence of bacterial infection. Conclusion: Influenza in southern Vietnam has complex transmission dynamics including periods of intense influenza activity of alternating types and subtypes. Broadening surveillance from hospital to the community in tropical settings is feasible and a valuable for improving our understanding of the global spread and evolution of the virus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases