Influenza and malaria coinfection among young children in Western Kenya, 2009-2011

Mark G. Thompson, Robert F. Breiman, Mary J. Hamel, Meghna Desai, Gideon Emukule, Sammy Khagayi, David K. Shay, Kathleen Morales, Simon Kariuki, Godfrey M. Bigogo, M. Kariuki Njenga, Deron C. Burton, Frank Odhiambo, Daniel R. Feikin, Kayla F. Laserson, Mark A. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background.Although children <5 years old in sub-Saharan Africa are vulnerable to both malaria and influenza, little is known about coinfection.Methods.This retrospective, cross-sectional study in rural western Kenya examined outpatient visits and hospitalizations associated with febrile acute respiratory illness (ARI) during a 2-year period (July 2009-June 2011) in children <5 years old.Results.Across sites, 45 (149/331) of influenza-positive patients were coinfected with malaria, whereas only 6 (149/2408) of malaria-positive patients were coinfected with influenza. Depending on age, coinfection was present in 4-8 of outpatient visits and 1-3 of inpatient admissions for febrile ARI. Children with influenza were less likely than those without to have malaria (risk ratio [RR], 0.57-0.76 across sites and ages), and children with malaria were less likely than those without to have influenza (RR, 0.36-0.63). Among coinfected children aged 24-59 months, hospital length of stay was 2.7 and 2.8 days longer than influenza-only-infected children at the 2 sites, and 1.3 and 3.1 days longer than those with malaria only (all P <. 01).Conclusions.Coinfection with malaria and influenza was uncommon but associated with longer hospitalization than single infections among children 24-59 months of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1674-1684
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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