Clinical symptoms cannot predict influenza infection during the 2013 influenza season in Bavaria, Germany

2015 Epidemiology and Infection  
SUMMARYFor influenza surveillance and diagnosis typical clinical symptoms are traditionally used to discriminate influenza virus infections from infections by other pathogens. During the 2013 influenza season we performed a multiplex assay for 16 different viruses in 665 swabs from patients with acute respiratory infections (ARIs) to display the variety of different pathogens causing ARI and to test the diagnostic value of both the commonly used case definitions [ARI, and influenza like illness
more » ... luenza like illness (ILI)] as well as the clinical judgement of physicians, respectively, to achieve a laboratory-confirmed influenza diagnosis. Fourteen different viruses were identified as causing ARI/ILI. Influenza diagnosis based on clinical signs overestimated the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and misclassified cases. Furthermore, ILI case definition and physicians agreed in only 287/651 (44%) cases with laboratory confirmation. Influenza case management has to be supported by laboratory confirmation to allow evidence-based decisions. Epidemiological syndromic surveillance data should be supported by laboratory confirmation for reasonable interpretation.
doi:10.1017/s0950268815002228 pmid:26388141 fatcat:ov4g7p2tqjhbrpj5fsysk4fm5q