Seasonal Influenza Morbidity Estimates Obtained From Telephone Surveys, 2007.

At the time of the study, Laurie Kamimoto, Lyn Finelli, and Joseph Bresee were with the Influenza Division and Gary L. Euler, Peng-Jun Lu, and James A. Singleton were with the Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Arthur Reingold was with the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. James Hadler was with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford. Ken Gershman was with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver. Monica Farley was with Emory University School of Medicine and the VA Medical Center, Atlanta. Pauline Terebuh was with the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, Atlanta. Patricia Ryan was with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Baltimore. Ruth Lynfield was with the Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul. Bernadette Albanese was with the New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe. Ann Thomas was with the Oregon Public Health Division, Portland. Allen S. Craig was with the Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville. William Schaffner was with Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 3.93). 12/2012; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300799
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objectives. We assessed telephone surveys as a novel surveillance method, comparing data obtained by telephone with existing national influenza surveillance systems, and evaluated the utility of telephone surveys. Methods. We used the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the 2007 National Immunization Survey-Adult (NIS-Adult) to estimate the incidence of influenza-like illness (ILI), medically attended ILI, provider-diagnosed influenza, influenza testing, and treatment of influenza with antiviral medications during the 2006-2007 influenza season. Results. With the January-May BRFSS, among persons aged 18 years and older, the cumulative incidence of seasonal ILI and provider-diagnosed influenza was 37.9 and 5.7 adults per 100 persons, respectively. Monthly medically attended ILI and provider-diagnosed influenza among adults were temporally associated with influenza activity, as documented by national surveillance. With the NIS-Adult survey data, estimated provider-diagnosed influenza, influenza testing, and antiviral treatment were 2.8%, 1.4%, and 0.6%, respectively. Conclusions. Our telephone interview-based estimates of influenza morbidity were consistent with those from national influenza surveillance systems. Telephone surveys may provide an alternative method by which population-based influenza morbidity information can be gathered. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print December 13, 2012: e1-e9. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300799).

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