Lee EC, Arab A, Goldlust SM, Viboud C, Grenfell BT, Bansal S
PLoS Comput Biol. 14(3):e1006020. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006020
The surveillance of influenza activity is critical to early detection of epidemics and pandemics and the design of disease control strategies. Case reporting through a voluntary network of sentinel physicians is a commonly used method of passive surveillance for monitoring rates of influenza-like illness (ILI) worldwide. Despite its ubiquity, little attention has been given to the processes underlying the observation, collection, and spatial aggregation of sentinel surveillance data, and its subsequent effects on epidemiological understanding.