ASPREN is the National GP influenza and infectious disease surveillance network. GPs will be asked to supply deidentified information about patients presenting with an influenza-like-illness, gastroenteritis, chicken pox and shingles and undertake swab testing of 25% of patients presenting with an influenza like illness. The majority of data can be sumbitted via automated weekly data extraction using the Canning Flu Tool.
ASPREN ILI surveillance and data reporting improves GPs knowledge of the incidence, distribution and identification of influenza and influenza-like illness in the community.
Relevance to General Practice
Influenza is an important global public health problem causing considerable impact on morbidity and mortality.
In order to lessen the impact of pandemics and enable planning measures to be rapidly implemented, much effort has been spent on early or rapid detection of influenza epidemics and characterisation of circulating virus strains. Effective disease surveillance systems help to protect Australia from the spread of evolving viruses. Monitoring of Influenza in the community through GP networks is crucial for the detection and management.
ASPREN is a key stakeholder in the Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza Biosecurity Surveillance Program. Participation in the ASPREN surveillance program provides an opportunity for GPs to use their judgment to diagnose influenza. Providing surveillance information back to general practices also assists GPs in the diagnosis of influenza in the community as well as supporting overall patient management.
- To improve GPs awareness of influenza-like illness in the community.
- To provide an opportunity for GPs to evaluate diagnostic skills and compare clinical diagnosis against laboratory diagnosis.
- For GPs to access information from existing national and jurisdictional public health communicable disease surveillance systems
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units
- Aboriginal and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander health
- Rural health
- Adult health
- Care of older people
- Children and young people health
- Disaster management
The University of Adelaide, Discipline of General Practice
World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza
Institute of Medical and Vetinary Science (IMVS)