Journal article

Accounting for Healthcare-Seeking Behaviours and Testing Practices in Real-Time Influenza Forecasts

R Moss, Alexander E Zarebski, Sandra J Carlson, James M McCaw

Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease | MDPI | Published : 2019


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., 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 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) influenza tests. In this study, we used weekly Flutracking surveillance..

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