Epidemiological Characteristics of Influenza A and B in Macau, 2010-2018

Influenza is one of the major respiratory diseases in humans. Macau is a tourist city with high density of population and special population mobility. The study on the epidemiological characteristics of influenza in Macau should bring great value for preventing influenza in tourist cities like Macau in the world. In this study, we collected a total of 104,874 samples with influenza-like illness (ILI) in Macau from 2010 to 2018. Chi-square test and binary multivariable logistic regression were used to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of influenza A and B in Macau. Among these ILI samples, the overall positive rate is 17.17% for influenza A and 6.97% for influenza B. The epidemics of influenza in three years (i.e., 2012, 2017 and 2018) differ from the remaining years (i.e., normal years). In a normal year, influenza A occurs year-round whereas influenza B is seasonal. Our research shows significant differences in influenza infections between different age groups in normal years. Interestingly, our analysis shows no significant difference between locals and tourists in influenza A and B infection in a normal year, whereas the odds of influenza A in tourists were significantly higher than those in locals in July 2017 and the odds of influenza B in tourists were significantly higher than those in locals in January-February 2012 and January-February 2018. This is possibly attributed by the policy of free vaccination to everyone in Macau. These findings should be valuable for preventing influenza in not only Macau but also the world.