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Using a community based survey of healthcare seeking behavior to estimate the actual magnitude of influenza among adults in Beijing during 2013-2014 season
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  • Alternative Title:
    BMC Infect Dis
  • Description:

    Due to a lack of survey of health care seeking behavior for influenza, the actual magnitude of influenza in Beijing of China has not been well described.


    During 2013–2014 influenza season, two cross-sectional household surveys were carried out respectively during the epidemic and non-epidemic season of influenza. A structured survey was undertaken with individuals who were ≥18 years selected by a multistage random sampling method in the study. Health care seeking behaviors were then examined to estimate the actual case number of influenza, using a multiplier model.


    A total of 14,665 adults were interviewed. 61.9% of ILI cases consulted a physician. The consultation rate during epidemic period is higher than that during non-epidemic period (67.9% vs. 52.3%). Similarly, the proportion of healthcare usage of general hospital during epidemic period is higher than that was during non-epidemic period (27.1% vs. 19.0%, p = 0.008). Lack of insurance and education reduced healthcare seeking significantly in this study. It was estimated that there were 379,767 (90% CI = [281,934, 526,565]) confirmed cases of influenza amongst adults in Beijing, during 2013–2014 influenza season, with an incidence rate of 2.0%.


    The surveillance system for ILI and virological data has the potential to provide baseline case number to estimate the actual annual magnitude of influenza. Given the changes in healthcare seeking behavior over time, sentinel surveillance on healthcare seeking behavior are required to be established for better estimate of the true case number of influenza.

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