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Seasonal and Temporal Trends in Childhood Conjunctivitis in Burkina Faso

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  • 1 Centre de Recherche en Sante de Nouna, Nouna, Burkina Faso;
  • | 2 National Health Information System, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso;
  • | 3 Francis I. Proctor Foundation, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California;
  • | 4 Heidelberg Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany;
  • | 5 Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts;
  • | 6 Africa Health Research Institute, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa;
  • | 7 Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts;
  • | 8 Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California;
  • | 9 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Acute conjunctivitis follows a seasonal pattern. Although its clinical course is typically self-limited, conjunctivitis epidemics incur a substantial economic burden because of missed school and work days. This study investigated seasonal and temporal trends of childhood conjunctivitis in the entire country of Burkina Faso from 2013 to 2016, using routine monthly surveillance from 2,444 government health facilities. A total of 783,314 cases were reported over the 4-year period. Conjunctivitis followed a seasonal pattern throughout the country, with a peak in April. A nationwide conjunctivitis outbreak with a peak in September 2016 was noted (P < 0.001), with an excess number of cases first detected in June 2016. Nationwide passive surveillance was able to detect an epidemic 3 months before its peak, which may aide in allocation of resources for containment and mitigation of transmission in future outbreaks.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Catherine E. Oldenburg, Francis I. Proctor Foundation, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94143. E-mail: catherine.oldenburg@ucsf.edu

Authors’ addresses: Ali Sié, Abdramane Diarra, and Ourohiré Millogo, Centre de Recherche en Sante de Nouna, Nouna, Boucle du Mouhoun, Burkina Faso, E-mails: sieali@yahoo.fr, bdradiarra@yahoo.fr, and ourohire2001@yahoo.fr. Augustin Zongo, National Health Information Systems, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, E-mail: zongoaugustin@yahoo.fr. Elodie Lebas, Travis C. Porco, Michael S. Deiner, Thomas M. Lietma, Jeremy D. Keenan, and Catherine E. Oldenburg, Francis I. Proctor Foundation, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, E-mails: elodie.lebas@ucsf.edu, travis.porco@ucsf.edu, michael.deiner@ucsf.edu, tom.lietman@ucsf.edu, jeremy.keenan@ucsf.edu, and catherine.oldenburg@ucsf.edu. Till Bärnighausen, Heidelberg Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany, E-mail: till.baernighausen@uni-heidelberg.de. James Chodosh, Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA, E-mail: james_chodosh@meei.harvard.edu.

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