Detecting the norovirus season in sweden using search engine data - Meeting the needs of hospital infection control teams

Michael Edelstein, Anders Wallensten, Inga Zetterqvist, Anette Hulth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Norovirus outbreaks severely disrupt healthcare systems. We evaluated whether Websök, an internet-based surveillance system using search engine data, improved norovirus surveillance and response in Sweden. We compared Websök users' characteristics with the general population, cross-correlated weekly Websök searches with laboratory notifications between 2006 and 2013, compared the time Websök and laboratory data crossed the epidemic threshold and surveyed infection control teams about their perception and use of Websök. Users of Websök were not representative of the general population. Websök correlated with laboratory data (b = 0.88-0.89) and gave an earlier signal to the onset of the norovirus season compared with laboratory-based surveillance. 17/21 (81%) infection control teams answered the survey, of which 11 (65%) believed Websök could help with infection control plans. Websök is a low-resource, easily replicable system that detects the norovirus season as reliably as laboratory data, but earlier. Using Websök in routine surveillance can help infection control teams prepare for the yearly norovirus season.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere100309
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting the norovirus season in sweden using search engine data - Meeting the needs of hospital infection control teams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this