Electronic data collected from routine healthcare can be used for public health surveillance. To examine the Sentinel System, a distributed data network of health plans, as a source for influenza surveillance, we compared trends in outpatient prescription dispensings of influenza antivirals in Sentinel to trends in CDC's ILINet and NREVSS systems over five seasons. There were 2,102,885 prescriptions dispensed of oseltamivir capsules, 494,188 of oseltamivir powder, and 7,955 of zanamivir. Across all seasons, the magnitude and timing of peaks in drug utilization were highly comparable to those in ILINet and NREVSS. Oseltamivir capsules and powder were well correlated with ILINet and NREVSS. This lays the foundation for further exploration of Sentinel's utility for influenza surveillance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses
Outpatient influenza antivirals in a distributed data network for influenza surveillance.