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Effect of surveillance method on reported characteristics of Lyme disease, Connecticut, 1996-2007.

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Abstract

To determine the effect of changing public health surveillance methods on the reported epidemiology of
Lyme disease, we analyzed Connecticut data for 1996-2007. Data were stratified by 4 surveillance methods and compared. A total of 87,174 reports were received that included 79,896 potential cases. Variations based on surveillance methods were seen. Cases reported through physician-based surveillance were significantly more likely to be classified as confirmed; such case-patients were significantly more likely to have symptoms of erythema migrans only and to have illness onset during summer months. Case-patients reported through laboratory-based surveillance were significantly more likely to have late manifestations only and to be older. Use of multiple surveillance methods provided a more complete clinical and demographic description of cases but lacked efficiency. When interpreting data, changes in surveillance method must be considered.

Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 Feb;18(2):242-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1802.101219. Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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