Improving influenza surveillance in Portuguese preschool children by parents' report

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Influenza surveillance is usually based on nationally organized sentinel networks of physicians and on hospital reports. This study aimed to test a different report system, based on parents' phone contact to the research team and in home collection of samples by a dedicated team. The identification of influenza and other respiratory viruses in children who attended a Hospital Emergency Department was also recorded. Real-time PCR and reverse transcription PCR were performed for influenza A and B, parainfluenza 1-4, adenovirus, human metapneumovirus, respiratory syncytial virus A and B, rhinovirus, enterovirus, group 1 coronaviruses, group 2 coronaviruses, and human bocavirus. One hundred children were included, 64 from the day care centers and 36 from the Hospital. Overall, 79 samples were positive for at least one respiratory virus. Influenza A (H3) was the virus most frequently detected: 25 cases, 20 of these in children under 5 years of age (ten from day care centers and ten who went to the hospital) which was higher than those reported by the National Influenza Surveillance Programme for this age. Conclusion: The results obtained in this study suggest that a surveillance system based on parents' reports could complement the implanted system of the National Influenza Surveillance Programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1065
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal Of Pediatrics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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