Background: The method for estimating incidence of infectious diseases from sentinel surveillance data has been proposed. In Japan, although the annual incidence rates of influenza and pediatric diseases estimated using the method were reported, their weekly incidence rates have not. Methods: The weekly sex- and age-specific numbers of cases in the sentinel medical institutions in the National Epidemiological Surveillance of Infectious Diseases in Japan in 2002-2005 were used. Annual and weekly incidence rates of influenza and 12 pediatric diseases were estimated by the above-mentioned method, under the assumption that sentinels are randomly selected from all medical institutions. Results: The annual incidence rate of influenza in 2002-2005 was 57.7-142.6 per 1,000 population. The highest weekly incidence rate was 7.4 at week 8 in 2002, 14.9 at week 4 in 2003,14.1 at week 5 in 2004, and 21.2 at week 9 in 2005. The annual incidence rate per 1,000 population of 0-14 years old in 2002-2006 was less than 5.0 for pertussis, rubella and measles, 293.2-320.8 for infectious gastroenteritis, and 5.3-89.6 for 8 other diseases. The highest weekly incidence rate was less than 1.0 for exanthem subiturn, and was more than 5.0 for infectious gastroenteritis, hand-foot-mouth disease and herpangina. Conclusion: We estimatad annual and weekly incidence rates of influenza and pediatric diseases in Japan in 2002-2005, and described their temporal variation.
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