CGPH FACULTY: Hildy Fong
DATE OF PUBLICATION: May 2014
REFERENCE: Chong KC, Fong HF, Zee CY. Estimating the incidence reporting rates of new influenza pandemics at an early stage using travel data from the source country. Epidemiol Infect. 2014 May;142(5):955-63. doi: 10.1017/S0950268813002550. Epub 2013 Oct 10.
SUMMARY/ABSTRACT: During the surveillance of influenza pandemics, underreported data are a public health challenge that complicates the understanding of pandemic threats and can undermine mitigation efforts. We propose a method to estimate incidence reporting rates at early stages of new influenza pandemics using 2009 pandemic H1N1 as an example. Routine surveillance data and statistics of travelers arriving from Mexico were used. Our method incorporates changes in reporting rates such as linearly increasing trends due to the enhanced surveillance. From our results, the reporting rate was estimated at 0·46% during early stages of the pandemic in Mexico. We estimated cumulative incidence in the Mexican population to be 0·7% compared to 0·003% reported by officials in Mexico at the end of April. This method could be useful in estimation of actual cases during new influenza pandemics for policy makers to better determine appropriate control measures.
ACCESS: Link to Pubmed