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    Re the very first point. What were the numbers of tests each year? I would imagine we did far more tests last year than in previous years. Wouldn’t that mean a proportion of positive results similar to previous years implied higher influenza activity than in the years with similar results?

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    If you follow the link to Heath Kelly’s paper, you will see that he acknowledges there have probably been increased rates of presentation and of testing, which is why he looked at the proportion of requested lab tests that were positive for influenza, “a metric that corrects for increased testing associated with higher numbers of diagnostic requests for possible influenza, not necessarily associated with higher levels of influenza circulation”. He also acknowledges that this comparison may be biased by increased rates of presentation and testing.


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