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Flutracking and Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 16, Number 12–December 2010
Volume 16, Number 12–December 2010
Online Flutracking Survey of Influenza-like Illness during Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Australia

Sandra J. Carlson, Craig B. Dalton, David N. Durrheim, Comments to Author and John Fejsa
Author affiliations: Hunter Medical Research Institute, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia (S.J. Carlson, C.B. Dalton, D.N. Durrheim); Hunter New England Population Health, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia (S.J. Carlson, C.B. Dalton, D.N. Durrheim, J. Fejsa); and Newcastle University, Newcastle (C.B. Dalton, D.N. Durrheim)

Suggested citation for this article

We compared the accuracy of online data obtained from the Flutracking surveillance system during pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in Australia with data from other influenza surveillance systems. Flutracking accurately identified peak influenza activity timing and community influenza-like illness activity and was significantly less biased by treatment-seeking behavior and laboratory testing protocols than other systems.

A variety of surveillance methods were used to monitor the incidence and severity of influenza A pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in Australia. Severity of illness was measured by number of hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and deaths. Influenza disease incidence was monitored through laboratory-confirmed cases, general practitioner sentinel surveillance of influenza-like illness (ILI), emergency department visits for ILI, absenteeism data from large employers, and the Flutracking surveillance system (1).

Flutracking is a national weekly online survey of ILI (completed by >8,000 participating community members each week in 2009); it is the only ILI surveillance system that provides comparable data across Australia's states and territories. Flutracking integrates participants' ILI symptom information with their influenza vaccination status (2). Flutracking surveillance has correlated well with other Australian influenza surveillance systems in describing the timing and scale of the 2007 and 2008 seasonal influenza epidemics (3,4). We compared Flutracking data with data from other routine influenza surveillance systems during the 2009 pandemic wave in New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state.

Flutracking and Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article

Carlson SJ, Dalton C, Durrheim DN, Fejsa J. Online Flutracking survey of influenza-like illness during pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Australia. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 Dec [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1612.100935

Comments to the Authors

Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

David N. Durrheim, Locked Bag 10, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Wallsend, New South Wales 2287, Australia;

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