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Influenza-Negative Influenza-Like Illness (fnILI) Z-Score as a Proxy for Incidence and Mortality of COVID-19

By Fatima N Mirza, Amyn A Malik, Saad B Omer

Posted 27 Apr 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.22.20075770

Though ideal for determining the burden of disease, SARS-CoV2 test shortages preclude its implementation as a robust surveillance system in the US. We correlated the use of the derivative influenza-negative influenza-like illness (fnILI) z-score from the CDC as a proxy for incident cases and disease-specific deaths. For every unit increase of fnILI z-score, the number of cases increased by 70.2 (95%CI[5.1,135.3]) and number of deaths increased by 2.1 (95%CI[1.0,3.2]). FnILI data may serve as an accurate outcome measurement to track the spread of the and allow for informed and timely decision-making on public health interventions.

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