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Hepatitis A surveillance in England – how many cases are not reported and does it really matter?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2006

N. MATIN
Affiliation:
Health Protection Agency (HPA) Centre for Infections (CFI) Immunisation Department and Public Health Training Scheme, London Deanery, London, UK
A. GRANT
Affiliation:
HPA Statistics Department, London, UK
J. GRANEROD
Affiliation:
HPA Centre for Infections Immunisation Department, London, UK
N. CROWCROFT
Affiliation:
HPA Centre for Infections Immunisation Department, London, UK
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Abstract

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Underreporting of hepatitis A infection in England may be high and a number of outbreaks have occurred undetected by routine surveillance. We evaluated surveillance of hepatitis A cases by employing capture–recapture analysis on data from two distinct outbreaks of hepatitis A. The overall reporting of cases of hepatitis A was 81·7% (95% CI 55·3–95) in the first outbreak in North East England and reporting through Lab Base was 65·7% (95% CI 42·8–76·4). In the second outbreak in the East Midlands the overall reporting of hepatitis A cases was 27·8% (95% CI 19–38·7) and through Lab Base 16·6% (95% CI 11·4–23·1). Underreporting of hepatitis A cases is high. Public health interventions exist to prevent and control outbreaks of hepatitis A. The lack of reliable data on incidence and prevalence hampers effective public health management of this disease.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2006 Cambridge University Press
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