Analysis of influenza transmission in the households of primary and junior high school students during the 2012-13 influenza season in Odate, Japan

Taro Kamigaki, Satoshi Mimura, Yoshihiro Takahashi, Hitoshi Oshitani

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Background: Households are one of the major settings of influenza transmission in the community and transmission is frequently initiated by school-aged children. We surveyed households with primary school (PS) and/ or junior high school (JH) children for the 2012-13 influenza season in Odate, Japan then characterized the epidemiology of influenza household transmission as well as estimated the serial intervals. Methods: We delivered a self-reported questionnaire survey to households with PS and/or JH school children in Odate City, Japan. Influenza A (H3N2) virus predominantly circulated during the 2012-13 influenza season. We investigated the epidemiological characteristics of within-household transmission and calculated the serial intervals (SI). SIs were drew by a non-parametric model and compared with parametric models by the Akaike Information Criterion. The covariable contributions were investigated by the accelerated failure model. Results: Household influenza transmission was identified in 255 out of 363 household respondents. Primary school (PS) children accounted for 45.1 % of primary cases, and disease transmission was most commonly observed between PS children and parents, followed by transmission from PS children to siblings. In primary cases of PS or JH children, younger age and longer absence from school were significantly associated with household transmission events. The mean SI was estimated as 2.8 days (95 % confidence interval 2.6-3.0 days) in the lognormal model. The estimated acceleration factors revealed that while secondary school age and the absence duration > 7 days were associated with shorter and longer SIs, respectively, antiviral prescriptions for primary cases made no contribution. Conclusions: High frequencies of household transmission from primary school with shorter SI were found. These findings contribute to the development of future mitigation strategies against influenza transmission in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number282
JournalBMC infectious diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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