Other communicable disease surveillance
Australian Sentinel Practice Research Network
The Research and Health Promotion Unit of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners operates the Australian Sentinel Practice Research Network (ASPREN). ASPREN is a national network of general practitioners that report each week on a number of conditions selected annually. Sentinel general practices contributing to the ASPREN scheme are mostly located in capital cities and larger regional centres on the east coast of Australia. The data provide an indicator of the burden of disease in the primary care setting and allow trends in consultation rates to be detected.
In 2006, influenza-like illnesses (ILI), gastroenteritis, and varicella infections (chickenpox and shingles) were the communicable diseases reported to ASPREN. Each week an average of 27 general practitioners (range 11–39) provided information from an average of 2,654 (range 934–3,999) consultations per week. The average number of participating practices and consultations has decreased since 2003.
During 2006, influenza-like illness reports to ASPREN started increasing in week 24, with peaks in weeks 25 (29.2 cases per 1,000 consultations, mid-June) and 35 (32.4 cases per 1,000, late August). In 2005, ILI reports peaked in early August (42.4 cases per 1,000) (Figure 79).Top of page
Figure 79. Consultation rates for influenza-like illness, ASPREN 2006 compared with 2005, by week of report
Consultations for gastroenteritis fluctuated between 10.5 to 37.1 cases per 1,000 consultations. Rates reported for 2006 appeared to be slightly higher until April and then became very similar to 2005 (Figure 80).
Figure 80. Consultation rates for gastroenteritis, ASPREN, 2006 compared with 2005, by week of report
Consultations for varicella zoster (shingles) fluctuated between 0.4 to 6.2 cases per 1,000 consultations. Rates reported for 2006 appeared similar to 2005 from 16 April (Figure 81). Reports of varicella zoster (shingles) were available only from week 13 in 2005.Top of page
Figure 81. Consultation rates for varicella zoster (shingles), ASPREN, 2006 compared with 2005, by week of report
Consultations for varicella zoster (chickenpox) fluctuated between 0 to 3.3 cases per 1,000 consultations. Rates reported for 2006 appeared to be slightly less than 2005 from 16 April. Reports of varicella zoster (chickenpox) were available only from week 13 in 2005 (Figure 82).
Figure 82. Consultation rates for varicella zoster (chickenpox), ASPREN, 2006 compared with 2005, by week of report
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Communicable Diseases Surveillance
This issue - Vol 32 No 2, June 2008
NNDSS Annual report 2006
Communicable Diseases Intelligence