Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Print version ISSN 0042-9686
WHITFIELD, Kathryn and KELLY, Heath. Using the two-source capture-recapture method to estimate the incidence of acute flaccid paralysis in Victoria, Australia. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2002, vol.80, n.11, pp. 846-851. ISSN 0042-9686. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862002001100003.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the incidence and the completeness of ascertainment of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in Victoria, Australia, in 1998-2000 and to determine its common causes among children aged under 15 years. METHODS:: The two-source capture-recapture method was used to estimate the incidence of cases of AFP and to evaluate case ascertainment in the routine surveillance system. The primary and secondary data sources were notifications from this system and inpatient hospital records, respectively. FINDINGS: The routine surveillance system indicated that there were 14 cases and the hospital record review identified 19 additional cases. According to the two-source capture-recapture method, there would have been 40 cases during this period (95% confidence interval (CI) = 29-51), representing an average annual incidence of 1.4 per 100 000 children aged under 15 years (95% CI = 1.1- 1.7). Thus case ascertainment based on routine surveillance was estimated to be 35% complete. Guillain-Barré syndrome was the commonest single cause of AFP. CONCLUSIONS: Routine surveillance for AFP in Victoria was insensitive. A literature review indicated that the capture-recapture estimates obtained in this study were plausible. The present results help to define a target notification rate for surveillance in settings where poliomyelitis is not endemic.
Keywords : Paralysis [diagnosis]; Paralysis [epidemiology]; Muscle hypotonia [diagnosis]; Muscle hypotonia [epidemiology]; Incidence; Epidemiologic surveillance [methods]; Epidemiologic methods; Australia.