3 years ago

Systematic Assessment of Multiple Routine and Near-Real Time Indicators to Classify the Severity of Influenza Seasons and Pandemics in the United States, 2003-04 Through 2015-2016.

Joseph Bresee, Shikha Garg, Matthew Biggerstaff, Carrie Reed, Erin Burns, Krista Kniss, Lynnette Brammer, Daniel B Jernigan
Assessments of influenza season severity can guide public health action. We used the Moving Epidemic Method to develop intensity thresholds (IT) for 3 US surveillance indicators from the 2003-04-2014-15 influenza season (excluding the 2009 pandemic): 1) outpatient visits for influenza-like illness, 2) influenza-related hospitalizations, and 3) influenza- and pneumonia-related deaths. ITs were developed for the overall population and children, adults, and older adults separately and were the upper limit of the 50% (IT50), 90% (IT90), and 98% (IT98) one-sided CIs of the geometric mean of each season's 3 highest values. Severity was classified as low if ≥2 systems peaked below IT50, moderate if ≥2 peaked between IT50 and IT90, high if ≥2 peaked between IT90 and IT98, and very high if ≥2 peaked above IT98. We piloted this method with the 2015-16 season and the 2009 pandemic. Overall, 4 seasons were classified as low severity, 7 as moderate, 2 as high, and none as very high. While older adults had the most seasons (n = 3) classified as high, children were the only group to have seasons (n = 2) classified as very high. We will apply this method to classify the severity of future seasons and inform pandemic response.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx334

DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwx334

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