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Table 8 Different sources of information in relation to the seasonal influenza

From: Cross-sectional telephone surveys as a tool to study epidemiological factors and monitor seasonal influenza activity in Malta

Source of Data Type of Data Advantages Disadvantages
Telephone Surveys - Influenza Symptoms
- Number of influenza cases
- Number of hospitalisation due to influenza
- Respondents’ medical information
- Other dynamics in relation to the influenza
- Easy to collect
- Has the possibility to include extensive information about the outbreak
- Data can be compared against non-influenza individuals
- Relies on self-diagnosis and self-reporting
GP reporting - Consultations
- Diagnosed
- Medical data
- Weekly data
- Consultation include other cases
- Average of 6 doctors out of 300 reporting cases; low coverage
Google Trends - Search by popularity - Quick and easy to collect - Data relies on internet connected individuals only
- Data does not tell you the severity of the outbreak
Online surveys Not available in Malta
Serological data Not available in Malta