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Modelling the Contribution of Infectious Pathogens to the Seasonality of Syndromic Data


Calls to NHS Direct (a national UK telephone health advice line) which may be indicative of infection show marked seasonal variation, often peaking during winter or early spring. This variation may be related to the seasonality of common viruses. There is currently no routine microbiological confirmation of the cause of illness in NHS Direct callers. Modelling trends in NHS Direct syndromic call data against laboratory data may help by attributing the likely cause of these calls the and surveillance ‘signals’ generated by syndromic surveillance.

Multiple linear regression has been used previously to estimate the contribution of rotavirus and RSV to hospital admission for infectious intestinal disease and lower respiratory tract infections respectively. We applied a similar regression model to NHS Direct syndromic surveillance data and laboratory reports.



To provide weekly estimates of the proportions of NHS Direct respiratory calls attributable to common infectious disease pathogens.

Submitted by elamb on