Surveillance of severe influenza infections is lacking in the Netherlands. Ambulance dispatch (AD) data may provide information about severity of the influenza epidemic and its burden on emergency services. The current gold standard, primary care-based surveillance of influenza-like-illness (ILI), mainly captures mild to moderate influenza cases, and does not provide adequate information on severe disease. Monitoring the severity of the annual epidemic, particularly among groups most at risk of complications, is of importance for the planning of health services and the public health response.
Objective: We aim to assess whether influenza circulation, as measured through influenza-like-illness (ILI) in primary care, is reflected in ambulance dispatch (AD) calls.