Globally, there are approximately 3-5 million cases of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), and there are approximately 2.5- 5 million deaths annually. This SARI epidemic burden has become a public health concern. The most at-risk groups are children, elderly individuals and patients with chronic illness. This study aimed to describe SARI epidemiological and clinical characteristics by sex, seasonal variation, and influenza viral types among hospitalized children in National Pediatric Hospital, Cambodia, in 2019.
?This was a descriptive analysis using existing data from SARI Sentinel Site Surveillance, Department of Respiratory Infection, National Pediatric Hospital, Cambodia in 2019. In total, 372 cases of SARI were chosen using a simple random sampling approach from 11,232 patient records with lower acute respiratory infection that met the SARI definition. ?
Among the 372 SARI cases among children aged less than 15 years, boys were more prevalent than girls, with a ratio of 1.9/1. The average children’s age was 1.5 years (SD = 0.3). More than half (52.15%) were children aged less than one year, and 43.28% were among children aged 1-4 years. SARI circulated year-round, but cases increased and peaked in the third quarter (July September) of the year. The findings indicate that children from rural areas accounted for a higher proportion (58.60%) than children living in urban areas (41.40%). More than half of the cases were diagnosed with bronchiolitis, and the predominant influenza virus types were influenza? A (78.12%) and influenza B (21.87%).
The results of this descriptive study will be primarily useful for hospitals for further effective prevention and control of seasonal influenza epidemics and pandemics. It could be useful for vaccination preparedness for this SARI epidemic and pandemic as well as for future epidemiological studies and for health promotion messages for parents with smaller children in the communities.