A national paediatric sentinel surveillance system (SPES) was established in Italy in January 2000 in order to monitor the incidence of selected vaccine-preventable diseases in a timely and accurate manner. This system is based on a network of primary-care paediatricians who voluntarily participate and who report cases of measles, mumps, rubella and pertussis as well as varicella, bacterial meningitis and congenital rubella, on a monthly basis. This article presents the data collected by SPES during its first five years of activity, and describes how sentinel surveillance data has influenced public health activities. On average, 300 paediatricians participated each month in SPES and the mean population under surveillance has been 240,000-380,000, representing approximately 3-5% of the national population under 15 years of age. Pertussis and rubella had both incidences below 300/100,000 and were most frequent in children between 10-14 years of age. Rubella incidence peaked in 2002 (299 cases/100,000). A measles epidemic occurred in 2002-2003. Annual incidences for measles were 738/100,000 and 544/100,000, in 2002 and 2003 respectively. The highest incidence of mumps occurred in 2000, while the annual incidence of varicella remained stable during the 5 years at 5/100. Thirty-eight cases of bacterial meningitis and 8 cases of congenital rubella were reported. SPES data has been fundamental in registering trends in vaccine-preventable disease incidence and measuring the impact of vaccination strategies. In the article we discuss how SPES data contributed to some important public health actions.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Medico e Bambino|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 28 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health