Journal article

Accounting for healthcare-seeking behaviours and testing practices in real-time influenza forecasts

Robert Moss, Alexander Zarebski, Sandra Carlson, James McCaw

Published : 2018


For diseases such as influenza, where the majority of infected persons experience mild (if any) symptoms, surveillance systems are sensitive to changes in healthcare-seeking and clinical decision-making behaviours. This presents a challenge when trying to interpret surveillance data in near-real-time (e.g., in order to provide public health decision-support). Australia experienced a particularly large and severe influenza season in 2017, perhaps in part due to (a) mild cases being more likely to seek healthcare; and (b) clinicians being more likely to collect specimens for RT-PCR influenza tests. In this study we used weekly Flutracking surveillance data to estimate the probability that a pe..

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