Study on infant pneumonia deaths

About one in four of all infants who die from flu-related pneumonia live in India, according to a new University study.

The research, led by the University and involving 47 researchers from 14 countries, found that every year, more than 370,000 Indian children under five die as a result of pneumonia. As many as seven per cent of that number die after contracting flu.

The study estimates that 90 million cases of seasonal flu occur in under-five children each year across the world. Of that number, 20 million cases are of flu-related pneumonia, resulting in 1 million hospital admissions.

Researchers say the estimates should inform public health policy and vaccine strategy, especially in resource-limited countries like India.

The study was supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Influenza is the second-most common infection identified in children with pneumonia and contributes substantially to the burden of hospitalisation and mortality in young children. Until the widespread implementation of an effective influenza vaccine is achievable, reliable provision of antibiotics and oxygen therapy will substantially reduce mortality associated with flu.

Dr Harish NairCentre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Centre for Population Health Sciences

The Centre for Population Health Sciences (CPHS) brings together researchers active in public health and primary care research.

It seeks to undertake high quality research in topics of population health importance, facilitating collaborative projects and contributing to improvements in health services across the world.