Public Health


. 2023 Aug 6;222:175-177.
doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2023.07.011. Online ahead of print. Evaluating the performance of WHO and CDC case definitions for influenza-like illness in diagnosing influenza during the 2022-2023 flu season in Mexico

J Guzmán-Esquivel 1 , O Mendoza-Cano 2 , X Trujillo 3 , M Huerta 4 , M Ríos-Silva 5 , A Lugo-Radillo 6 , V Benites-Godínez 7 , J A Bricio-Barrios 8 , E F Ríos-Bracamontes 9 , M I Cárdenas-Rojas 10 , A D Ortega-Ramírez 11 , E Murillo-Zamora 12



AffiliationsAbstract

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the performance of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definitions for influenza-like illness (ILI) in diagnosing influenza during the 2022-2023 flu season in Mexico.
Study design: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of national epidemiological surveillance data in Mexico, focusing on respiratory viral pathogens.
Methods: We analyzed data from 6027 non-hospitalized patients between 5 and 65 years old who underwent molecular testing for respiratory viral pathogens. The performance of both case definitions was evaluated in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve.
Results: Overall, the diagnostic accuracy of the evaluated ILI definitions in identifying influenza patients was low, particularly among older patients. When compared to the CDC, the WHO definition had a lower sensitivity but a higher specificity, resulting in a higher AUROC (P = 0.031) for the WHO criteria.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the WHO and CDC ILI case definitions have limited accuracy for diagnosing influenza in non-hospitalized patients and highlight the need for more specific diagnostic tools to improve the detection of influenza cases during the flu season.

Keywords: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US; Influenza, Human; ROC curve; Virus diseases; World Health Organization.