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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Jun 3;54(21):535-7.

Surveillance for laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations--Colorado, 2004-05 influenza season.


The number of annual hospitalizations for influenza and pneumonia associated with influenza viruses in the United States is estimated at 95,000; however, no state-based or national surveillance system exists to monitor these events in all age groups, and population-based numbers of laboratory-confirmed, influenza hospitalizations are unknown. Certain existing surveillance systems provide population-based national estimates of influenza-related hospitalizations based on sampling methodology (i.e., the National Hospital Discharge Survey) or sentinel surveillance; however, these systems are not timely, population-based for all ages, and available at the state level. The Emerging Infections Program (EIP) conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed, influenza-related hospitalizations of persons aged <18 years in 11 metropolitan areas, and the New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) provides population-based estimates of laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalization rates among children aged <5 years who were prospectively enrolled and tested for influenza in three sentinel counties. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that states develop strategies to monitor influenza-related hospitalizations. This report describes a surveillance system for laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations in all age groups in Colorado that was implemented for the 2004--05 influenza season. The findings indicate that implementation of statewide, population-based surveillance for influenza-associated hospitalizations is feasible and useful for assessing the age-specific burden of serious influenza-associated morbidity and the relative severity of influenza seasons.

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