This study states that Influenza is an acute respiratory infection that usually causes mild to moderate symptoms, but in some cases can be life-threatening. The most recent global estimate of influenza-associated mortality exceeds 645 000 annual deaths.1 Current national influenza surveillance systems in Australia consist of general practice and hospital sentinel systems, laboratory-confirmed notifications and a community based online self-reported data system.2

Influenza-like illness (ILI), defined as a combination of fever, cough and fatigue,3, 4 is the recommended indicator for influenza activity surveillance worldwide, along with laboratory testing of a systematic sample.ASPREN has the advantage of reporting increased ILI activity before a rise in laboratory-confirmed influenza cases is identified by the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.6 Whilst ASPREN data have been the bedrock of general practice influenza surveillance for years,2 it has been suggested that active influenza monitoring can be complemented by using routinely collected electronic medical records (EMR) held in general practice databases that also include comprehensive clinical information. Therefore, this study aimed to compare weekly ILI rates and ILI distribution according to sociodemographic characteristics between ASPREN and MedicineInsight.

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