Health Policy Manag.  2018 Dec;28(4):402-410. 10.4332/KJHPA.2018.28.4.402.

Assessing Seasonality of Acute Febrile Respiratory Tract Infections and Medication Use

  • 1Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Research Team, Department of Research, Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, Wonju, Korea.
  • 2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Monitoring appropriate medication categories can provide early warning of certain disease outbreaks. This study aimed to present a methodology for selecting and monitoring medications relevant to the surveillance of acute respiratory tract infections, such as influenza.
To estimate correlations between acute febrile respiratory tract infection and some medication categories, the cross-correlation coefficient (CCC) was used and established. Two databases were used: real-time prescription trend of antivirals, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics using Drug Utilization Review Program between 2012 and 2015 and physicians' number of encounters with acute febrile respiratory tract infections such as influenza outbreaks using the national level health insurance claims data. The seasonality was also evaluated using the CCC.
After selecting six candidate diseases that require extensive monitoring, influenza with highly specific medical treatment according to the health insurance claims data and its medications were chosen as final candidates based on a data-driven approach. Antiviral medications and influenza were significantly correlated.
An annual correlation was observed between influenza and antiviral medications, anti-inflammatory drugs. Suitable models should be established for syndromic surveillance of influenza.


Influenza, Human; Seasons; Drug Utilization Review; Population surveillance
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