Multiple Disease Surveillance Systems against Pandemic (H1N1) Influenza in Taiwan

Shu-Kuan Lai1, Hsiao-Ling Chang1, Ho-Shing Wu2, Jen-Hsiang Chuang1

2010 Vol.26 NO.14

Correspondence Author: Shu-Kuan Lai


Taiwan announced pandemic (H1N1) influenza as a category 1 communicable disease as soon as H1N1 outbreaks occurred in USA and Mexico in April 2009. The Central Epidemic Commander Center (CECC) was launched to coordinate Ministries and Departments under the Executive Yuan for national policy making and communication. Subsequently, in light of World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration that the H1N1 epidemic could be mild, the CECC removed H1N1 influenza from category 1communicable diseases and instructed that if a severe complicated H1N1 influenza case was reported, it should be dealt with according to regulations and control measures set up for category 4 communicable diseases. Although the majority of pandemic (H1N1) influenza cases would not become severe complicated cases, real-time monitoring of epidemic situation was crucial for communicable disease policy making. Hospitalization, Viral, Out Patient Department (OPD), and Mortality surveillance systems were adopted for disease surveillance. Hospitalization surveillance focused on severe complicated influenza cases in notifiable disease surveillance system and analyzed hospitalization, discharge, and prognosis for pandemic (H1N1) influenza severe complicated cases. Viral surveillance monitored the epidemic trend of novel H1N1 virus in the community via the virus typing of contracted viral laboratory system. OPD surveillance monitored physician visits due to influenza-like illness by using information from the Real-time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance System (RODS) in Emergency Rooms (ER) and OPD IC card database from the National Health Insurance. Mortality surveillance monitored real time moving average for four-week trends of pneumonia or influenza deaths in order to detect abnormal development in advance. Data from those surveillance systems were analyzed daily, and results from the analyses were published in “Taiwan Influenza Daily Report” and “Taiwan Influenza Express”. Taiwan CDC expected to monitor the pandemic closely through multiple disease surveillance systems to provide references for making prevention and control policies so that appropriate measures could be implemented.