Viral encephalitis in England, 1989-1998: What did we miss?

Katy L. Davison*, Natasha S. Crowcroft, Mary E. Ramsay, David W.G. Brown, Nick J. Andrews

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    156 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We analyzed hospitalizations in England from April 1, 1989, to March 31, 1998, and identified approximately 700 cases, 46 fatal, from viral encephalitis that occurred during each year; most (60%) were of00 unknown etiology. Of cases with a diagnosis, the largest propor0tion was herpes simplex encephalitis. Using normal and Poisson regression, we identified six possible clusters of unknown etiology. Over 75% of hospitalizations are not reported through the routine laboratory and clinical notification systems, resulting in underdiagnosis of viral encephalitis in England. Current surveillance greatly underascertains incidence of the disease and existence of clusters; in general, outbreaks are undetected. Surveillance systems must be adapted to detect major changes in epidemiology so that timely control measures can be implemented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)234-240
    Number of pages7
    JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
    Volume9
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003

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