Validity of clinical case definitions for influenza surveillance among hospitalized patients: results from a rural community in North India
Article first published online: 16 JUL 2012
Published 2012. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
Volume 7, Issue 3, pages 321–329, May 2013
How to Cite
Gupta, V., Dawood, F. S., Rai, S. K., Broor, S., Wigh, R., Mishra, A. C., Lafond, K., Mott, J. A., Widdowson, M.-A., Lal, R. B. and Krishnan, A. (2013), Validity of clinical case definitions for influenza surveillance among hospitalized patients: results from a rural community in North India. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 7: 321–329. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2012.00401.x
- Issue published online: 17 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 16 JUL 2012
- Accepted 6 June 2012. Published online 16 July 2012.
- Case definitions;
Objective: Clinical case definitions used for influenza surveillance among hospitalized patients vary and need systematic evaluation.
Design, setting and sample: During July 2009–August 2011, we collected clinical data and specimens (nasal and throat swabs) from rural patients hospitalized for acute medical illnesses. Specimens were tested by rRT-PCR for influenza viruses.
Main outcome measures: Case definitions evaluated the following: influenza-like illness (ILI: measured fever plus cough or sore throat); severe acute respiratory illness (SARI: ILI with difficulty breathing in ≥5 years, Integrated Management of Childhood Illness–defined pneumonia or severe pneumonia, or physician diagnosed lower respiratory infection in <5 years); acute respiratory infection (ARI: ≥1 of cough, nasal discharge, difficulty breathing or sore throat); febrile acute respiratory illness (FARI: fever plus either cough, sore throat, runny nose, difficulty breathing, or earache). Variants that included “reported fever” and additional sign–symptom combinations were also evaluated.
Results: We enrolled 1043 hospitalized patients, including 257 children <5 years of age (range 1 day–86 years). Seventy-four patients tested influenza virus positive (including 28 A(H1N1)pdm09). Sensitivity(95% CI) and specificity (95% CI) for influenza infection were 78% (67–87) and 60% (57–63) for ILI (measured/reported fever); 37% (26–49) and 78% (75–80) for SARI (measured/reported fever); 82% (72–90) and 57% (54–60) for FARI (measured/reported fever); 88% (78–94) and 45% (42–49) for ARI; and 74% (63–84) and 61% (58–64) for measured/reported fever plus cough. Case definitions including only measured fever had lower sensitivity.
Conclusion: ILI and FARI with measured/reported fever provided good balance between sensitivity and specificity among hospitalized patients. The simpler case definition of measured/reported fever plus cough is suited for field surveillance.