Using Health Helpline Mediated Self-Swabbing as a Surveillance Tool for Influenza

Danielle McGolrick, Paul Belanger, Allison Maier, Harriet Richardson, Kieran Moore, Nino Lombardi, Anna Majury


This session will provide an overview of the pilot project regarding a laboratory-linked telephone health helpline based surveillance system. The surveillance system uses syndromic surveillance tools for early detection of illness and links it to a specimen available for laboratory testing. Through the health helpline, people with influenza-like illness are recruited and sent a nasal swab to obtain a specimen via self-swabbing that can be used to test for influenza viruses. The surveillance system is available to all residents of Ontario and was in operation for one year. Some of the results, analyses, and limitations of this project will be discussed during this session.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *