The burden of nosocomial respiratory infections in rural southern Africa is poorly understood. We established a surveillance program at a rural Zambian hospital to detect influenza-like illness (ILI) and respiratory infections among hospitalized patients and a cohort of healthcare workers (HCWs). Nasopharyngeal specimens from symptomatic patients and HCWs underwent broadly multiplexed molecular testing to detect viruses and atypical bacteria. During 1 year of surveillance, 15 patients (1.7% of admissions) developed ILI more than 48 hours after admission. Among 44 HCWs, 19 (43%) experienced at least one ILI episode, with a total of 31 ILI episodes detected. Respiratory viruses were detected in 45% of patient and 55% of HCW specimens. The cumulative incidence of influenza infection among HCWs over 1 year was 9%. Overall, respiratory viruses were commonly found among patients and HCWs in a rural Zambian hospital with limited infection control infrastructure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases