Sentinel Surveillance for Influenza-Like Illness, Severe Acute Respiratory Illness, and Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2009–2011

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Little is known about influenza in central Africa. We conducted sentinel surveillance for influenza-like illness, severe acute respiratory illness, and laboratory-confirmed influenza at 5 sites in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, from January 2009 through April 2011. We obtained samples from 4156 patients, of whom 605 (15%) had specimens containing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus. Apart from the period of pandemic influenza due to influenza A virus subtype H1N1, which occurred during August–December 2009, influenza activity peaked at least once each year from January through March, predominantly among children. These data can guide interventions to reduce the burden of influenza in the Democratic Republic of Congo and central Africa.

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