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Volume 18, Number 8—August 2012

Letter

Usefulness of School Absenteeism Data for Predicting Influenza Outbreaks, United States

Joseph R. Egger1, Anne G. Hoen, John S. Brownstein, David L. Buckeridge, Donald R. Olson, and Kevin J. KontyComments to Author 
Author affiliations: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA (J.R. Egger, K.J. Konty); Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (A.G. Hoen, J.S. Brownstein); Harvard Medical School, Boston (A.G. Hoen, J.S. Brownstein); McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (D.L. Buckeridge); and International Society for Disease Surveillance, New York (D.R. Olson)

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Figure

Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves showing A) predictive ability of school absenteeism to detect an outbreak (z-score ≥3) of fever/influenza for the entire study period; B) fever/influenza for the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 period; C) absenteeism for the entire study period; and D) absenteeism for the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 period. ROC curves were based on observations of whether 4 absentee threshold z-score levels—1, 1.5, 2, or 2.5—were reached or exceeded for either 1 day, 2 consecutive da

Figure. . Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves showing A) predictive ability of school absenteeism to detect an outbreak (z-score ≥3) of fever/influenza for the entire study period; B) fever/influenza for the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 period; C) absenteeism for the entire study period; and D) absenteeism for the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 period. ROC curves were based on observations of whether 4 absentee threshold z-score levels—1, 1.5, 2, or 2.5—were reached or exceeded for either 1 day, 2 consecutive days, or 3 consecutive days as a predictor of the school district outbreak status during the next 7 days. In the ROC curves, sensitivity on the y-axis indicates the true-positive rate, and 1– specificity on the x-axis indicates the false-positive rate. The study was conducted September 6, 2005–June 26, 2009, in New York City, New York, USA.

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1Current affiliation: SciMetrika, LLC, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.

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