Incubation periods of acute respiratory viral infections: a systematic review.

TitleIncubation periods of acute respiratory viral infections: a systematic review.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsLessler J, Reich NG, Brookmeyer R, Perl TM, Nelson KE, Cummings DAT
JournalLancet Infect Dis
Volume9
Issue5
Pagination291-300
Date Published2009 May
ISSN1474-4457
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Infant, Infectious Disease Incubation Period, Male, Middle Aged, Respiratory Tract Infections, Young Adult
Abstract

Knowledge of the incubation period is essential in the investigation and control of infectious disease, but statements of incubation period are often poorly referenced, inconsistent, or based on limited data. In a systematic review of the literature on nine respiratory viral infections of public-health importance, we identified 436 articles with statements of incubation period and 38 with data for pooled analysis. We fitted a log-normal distribution to pooled data and found the median incubation period to be 5.6 days (95% CI 4.8-6.3) for adenovirus, 3.2 days (95% CI 2.8-3.7) for human coronavirus, 4.0 days (95% CI 3.6-4.4) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, 1.4 days (95% CI 1.3-1.5) for influenza A, 0.6 days (95% CI 0.5-0.6) for influenza B, 12.5 days (95% CI 11.8-13.3) for measles, 2.6 days (95% CI 2.1-3.1) for parainfluenza, 4.4 days (95% CI 3.9-4.9) for respiratory syncytial virus, and 1.9 days (95% CI 1.4-2.4) for rhinovirus. When using the incubation period, it is important to consider its full distribution: the right tail for quarantine policy, the central regions for likely times and sources of infection, and the full distribution for models used in pandemic planning. Our estimates combine published data to give the detail necessary for these and other applications.

DOI10.1016/S1473-3099(09)70069-6
Alternate JournalLancet Infect Dis
PubMed ID19393959
Grant ListHK00014 / HK / PHITPO CDC HHS / United States
R01 TW008246 / TW / FIC NIH HHS / United States
U01-GM070708 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U54 GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
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