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Euro Surveill. 2018 Mar;23(11). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.11.18-00079.

Moving epidemic method (MEM) applied to virology data as a novel real time tool to predict peak in seasonal influenza healthcare utilisation. The Scottish experience of the 2017/18 season to date.

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Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Glasgow, United Kingdom.
NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom.


Scotland observed an unusual influenza A(H3N2)-dominated 2017/18 influenza season with healthcare services under significant pressure. We report the application of the moving epidemic method (MEM) to virology data as a tool to predict the influenza peak activity period and peak week of swab positivity in the current season. This novel MEM application has been successful locally and is believed to be of potential use to other countries for healthcare planning and building wider community resilience.


Scotland; epidemiology; influenza; influenza virus; laboratory; laboratory surveillance; modelling; policy; sentinel surveillance; statistics; viral infections

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