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Eur J Epidemiol. 2011 Mar;26(3):195-201. doi: 10.1007/s10654-011-9566-5. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Nowcasting pandemic influenza A/H1N1 2009 hospitalizations in the Netherlands.

Author information

1
National Institute for Public Health and Environment, PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands. tjibbe.donker@rivm.nl

Abstract

During emerging epidemics of infectious diseases, it is vital to have up-to-date information on epidemic trends, such as incidence or health care demand, because hospitals and intensive care units have limited excess capacity. However, real-time tracking of epidemics is difficult, because of the inherent delay between onset of symptoms or hospitalizations, and reporting. We propose a robust algorithm to correct for reporting delays, using the observed distribution of reporting delays. We apply the algorithm to pandemic influenza A/H1N1 2009 hospitalizations as reported in the Netherlands. We show that the proposed algorithm is able to provide unbiased predictions of the actual number of hospitalizations in real-time during the ascent and descent of the epidemic. The real-time predictions of admissions are useful to adjust planning in hospitals to avoid exceeding their capacity.

PMID:
21416274
PMCID:
PMC3079092
DOI:
10.1007/s10654-011-9566-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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