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Sensitivity and specificity of surveillance case definitions in detection of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus among hospitalized patients, New Zealand, 2012-2016.


During April-September 2012–2016, SHIVERS identified 16,055 admissions with ARI; of 6374 cases consented and tested for influenza or RSV, 5437 (85%) had SARI and 937 (15%) did not. SARI had the highest specificity in detecting influenza (40.6%) and RSV (40.8%) but the lowest sensitivity (influenza 78.8%, RSV 60.3%) among patients of all ages. Cough or shortness of breath had the highest sensitivity (influenza 99.3%, RSV 99.9%) but the lowest specificity (influenza 1.6%, RSV 1.9%). SARI sensitivity among children aged <3 months was 60.8% for influenza and 43.6% for RSV–both lower than in other age groups.

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