Trends in Influenza Infections in Three States of India from 2015–2021: Has There Been a Change during COVID-19 Pandemic?

Anup Jayaram, Anitha Jagadesh, Ajay M.V. Kumar, Hayk Davtyan, Pruthu Thekkur, Victor J. Del Rio Vilas, Shrawan Kumar Mandal, Robin Sudandiradas, Naren Babu, Prasad Varamballi, Ujwal Shetty, Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and public health response to the pandemic has caused huge setbacks in the management of other infectious diseases. In the present study, we aimed to (i) assess the trends in numbers of samples from patients with influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory syndrome tested for influenza and the number and proportion of cases detected from 2015–2021 and (ii) examine if there were changes during the COVID-19 period (2020–2021) compared to the pre-COVID-19 period (2015–2019) in three states of India. The median (IQR) number of samples tested per month during the pre-COVID-19 period was 653 (395–1245), compared to 27 (11–98) during the COVID-19 period (p value < 0.001). The median (IQR) number of influenza cases detected per month during the pre-COVID-19 period was 190 (113–372), compared to 29 (27–30) during the COVID-19 period (p value < 0.001). Interrupted time series analysis (adjusting for seasonality and testing charges) confirmed a significant reduction in the total number of samples tested and influenza cases detected during the COVID-19 period. However, there was no change in the influenza positivity rate between pre-COVID-19 (29%) and COVID-19 (30%) period. These findings suggest that COVID-19-related disruptions, poor health-seeking behavior, and overburdened health systems might have led to a reduction in reported influenza cases rather than a true reduction in disease transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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