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Comparing Influenza Activity Estimates in the US

BMC Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Aug 15; Baltrusaitis, et al

Data from novel influenza surveillance systems can complement traditional healthcare-based systems at multiple spatial resolutions, a new study suggests. Researchers compared 2 novel influenza-tracking systems with 3 traditional healthcare-based influenza surveillance systems at 4 spatial resolutions: national, regional, state, and city, and sought to determine the minimum number of participants in these systems to produce influenza activity estimates that resemble the historical trends recorded by traditional surveillance systems. They found:

  • As the spatial resolution increased, correlation values between all influenza surveillance systems decreased.
  • Influenza-like illness rates in geographic areas with >250 crowd-sourced participants or with >20,000 visit counts for electronic health records (EHR) tracked government-lead estimates of influenza activity.

Citation:

Baltrusaitis K, Brownstein JS, Scarpino SV, et al. Comparison of crowd-sourced, electronic heath records based, and traditional health-care based influenza-tracking systems at multiple spatial resolutions in the United States of America. [Published online ahead of print August 15, 2018]. BMC Infect Dis. doi:10.1186/s12879-018-3322-3.

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