IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 1263: Concordance between the Clinical Diagnosis of Influenza in Primary Care and Epidemiological Surveillance Systems (PREVIGrip Study) (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Introduction: Health authorities use different systems of influenza surveillance. Sentinel networks, which are recommended by the World Health Organization, provide information on weekly influenza incidence in a monitored population, based on laboratory-confirmed cases. In Catalonia there is a public website, DiagnostiCat, that publishes the number of weekly clinical diagnoses at the end of each week of disease registration, while the sentinel network publishes its reports later. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is concordance between the number of cases of clinical diagnoses and the number of confirmed cases of influenza, in order to evaluate the predictive potential of a clinical diagnosis-based system. Methods: Population-based ecological time series study in Catalonia. The period runs from the 2010–2011 to the 2018–2019 season. The concordance between the clinical diagnostic cases and the confirmed cases was evaluated. The degree of agreement and the concordance were analysed using Bland–Altman graphs and intraclass correlation coefficients. Results: There was greater concordance between the clinical diagnoses and the sum of the cases confirmed outside and within the sentinel network than between the diagnoses and the confirmed sentinel cases. The degree of agreement was higher when influenza rates were low. Conclusions: There is concordance between the clinical diagnosis and the confirmed cases of influenza. Registered clinical diagnostic cases could provide a good alternative to traditional surveillance, based on case confirmation. Cases of clinical diagnosis of influenza may have the potential to predict the onset of annual influenza epidemics.