Electronic School Absenteeism System for Multiple Disease Surveillance in Hong Kong

Dennis Ip, Eric H.Y. Lau, Teresa So, Lai-ming Ho, Bejamin J. Cowling, Gabriel Leung


Surveillance systems utilizing early indicator of disease activity would be useful for monitoring community disease pattern and facilitating timely decision making on public health interventions in an evidence-based manner. We explored the feasibility and practicability of establishing an electronic school absenteeism surveillance system in Hong Kong for monitoring influenza-like illness (ILI) and other emerging diseases, e.g. hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), using automatically captured data employing smart card technology. Preliminary data show that ILI-specific absenteeism rates reached their peaks 1-3 weeks ahead of the hospital laboratory surveillance data and HFMD-specific absenteeism rates were in phase with syndromic surveillance system from sentinel practitioners.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v6i1.5084

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org