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1.  Digital Dashboard Design Using Multiple Data Streams for Disease Surveillance With Influenza Surveillance as an Example 
Great strides have been made exploring and exploiting new and different sources of disease surveillance data and developing robust statistical methods for analyzing the collected data. However, there has been less research in the area of dissemination. Proper dissemination of surveillance data can facilitate the end user's taking of appropriate actions, thus maximizing the utility of effort taken from upstream of the surveillance-to-action loop.
The aims of the study were to develop a generic framework for a digital dashboard incorporating features of efficient dashboard design and to demonstrate this framework by specific application to influenza surveillance in Hong Kong.
Based on the merits of the national websites and principles of efficient dashboard design, we designed an automated influenza surveillance digital dashboard as a demonstration of efficient dissemination of surveillance data. We developed the system to synthesize and display multiple sources of influenza surveillance data streams in the dashboard. Different algorithms can be implemented in the dashboard for incorporating all surveillance data streams to describe the overall influenza activity.
We designed and implemented an influenza surveillance dashboard that utilized self-explanatory figures to display multiple surveillance data streams in panels. Indicators for individual data streams as well as for overall influenza activity were summarized in the main page, which can be read at a glance. Data retrieval function was also incorporated to allow data sharing in standard format.
The influenza surveillance dashboard serves as a template to illustrate the efficient synthesization and dissemination of multiple-source surveillance data, which may also be applied to other diseases. Surveillance data from multiple sources can be disseminated efficiently using a dashboard design that facilitates the translation of surveillance information to public health actions.
PMCID: PMC3222192  PMID: 22001082
Dashboard; dissemination; surveillance; influenza
2.  An analysis of national target groups for monovalent 2009 pandemic influenza vaccine and trivalent seasonal influenza vaccines in 2009-10 and 2010-11 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:230.
Vaccination is generally considered to be the best primary prevention measure against influenza virus infection. Many countries encourage specific target groups of people to undertake vaccination, often with financial subsidies or a priority list. To understand differential patterns of national target groups for influenza vaccination before, during and after the 2009 influenza pandemic, we reviewed and analyzed the country-specific policies in the corresponding time periods.
Information on prioritized groups targeted to receive seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines was derived from a multi-step internet search of official health department websites, press releases, media sources and academic journal articles. We assessed the frequency and consistency of targeting 20 different groups within populations which are associated with age, underlying medical conditions, role or occupations among different countries and vaccines. Information on subsidies provided to specific target groups was also extracted.
We analyzed target groups for 33 (seasonal 2009 and 2009-10 vaccines), 72 (monovalent pandemic 2009-10 vaccine) and 34 (seasonal 2010 and 2010-11 vaccines) countries. In 2009-10, the elderly, those with chronic illness and health care workers were common targets for the seasonal vaccine. Comparatively, the elderly, care home residents and workers, animal contacts and close contacts were less frequently targeted to receive the pandemic vaccine. Pregnant women, obese persons, essential community workers and health care workers, however, were more commonly targeted. After the pandemic, pregnant women, obese persons, health care and care home workers, and close contacts were more commonly targeted to receive the seasonal vaccine compared to 2009-10, showing continued influence from the pandemic. Many of the countries provided free vaccines, partial subsidies, reimbursements or national health insurance coverage to specific target groups and over one-third of the countries offered universal subsidy regarding the pandemic vaccine. There was also some inconsistency between countries in target groups.
Differences in target groups between countries may reflect variable objectives as well as uncertainties regarding the transmission dynamics, severity and age-specific immunity against influenza viruses before and after vaccination. Clarification on these points is essential to elucidate optimal and object-oriented vaccination strategies.
PMCID: PMC3175216  PMID: 21871096
influenza; pandemic; seasonal; vaccine; target groups; subsidy
3.  A profile of the online dissemination of national influenza surveillance data 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:339.
Influenza surveillance systems provide important and timely information to health service providers on trends in the circulation of influenza virus and other upper respiratory tract infections. Online dissemination of surveillance data is useful for risk communication to health care professionals, the media and the general public. We reviewed national influenza surveillance websites from around the world to describe the main features of surveillance data dissemination.
We searched for national influenza surveillance websites for every country and reviewed the resulting sites where available during the period from November 2008 through February 2009. Literature about influenza surveillance was searched at MEDLINE for relevant hyperlinks to related websites. Non-English websites were translated into English using human translators or Google language tools.
A total of 70 national influenza surveillance websites were identified. The percentage of developing countries with surveillance websites was lower than that of developed countries (22% versus 57% respectively). Most of the websites (74%) were in English or provided an English version. The most common surveillance methods included influenza-like illness consultation rates in primary care settings (89%) and laboratory surveillance (44%). Most websites (70%) provided data within a static report format and 66% of the websites provided data with at least weekly resolution.
Appropriate dissemination of surveillance data is important to maximize the utility of collected data. There may be room for improvement in the style and content of the dissemination of influenza data to health care professionals and the general public.
PMCID: PMC2754460  PMID: 19754978
4.  Detection of mild to moderate influenza A/H7N9 infection by China’s national sentinel surveillance system for influenza-like illness: case series  
Objective To characterise the complete case series of influenza A/H7N9 infections as of 27 May 2013, detected by China’s national sentinel surveillance system for influenza-like illness.
Design Case series.
Setting Outpatient clinics and emergency departments of 554 sentinel hospitals across 31 provinces in mainland China.
Cases Infected individuals were identified through cross-referencing people who had laboratory confirmed A/H7N9 infection with people detected by the sentinel surveillance system for influenza-like illness, where patients meeting the World Health Organization’s definition of influenza-like illness undergo weekly surveillance, and 10-15 nasopharyngeal swabs are collected each week from a subset of patients with influenza-like illness in each hospital for virological testing. We extracted relevant epidemiological data from public health investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the local, provincial, and national level; and clinical and laboratory data from chart review.
Main outcome measure Epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory profiles of the case series.
Results Of 130 people with laboratory confirmed A/H7N9 infection as of 27 May 2013, five (4%) were detected through the sentinel surveillance system for influenza-like illness. Mean age was 13 years (range 2-26), and none had any underlying medical conditions. Exposure history, geographical location, and timing of symptom onset of these five patients were otherwise similar to the general cohort of laboratory confirmed cases so far. Only two of the five patients needed hospitalisation, and all five had mild or moderate disease with an uneventful course of recovery.
Conclusion Our findings support the existence of a “clinical iceberg” phenomenon in influenza A/H7N9 infections, and reinforce the need for vigilance to the diverse presentation that can be associated with A/H7N9 infection. At the public health level, indirect evidence suggests a substantial proportion of mild disease in A/H7N9 infections.
PMCID: PMC3691004  PMID: 23798720

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