Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) 2019: Prospective hospital-based surveillance for serious paediatric conditions

Nicole Dinsmore, Jocelynne E. McRae, Helen E. Quinn, Catherine Glover, Sonia Dougherty, Alissa McMinn, Nigel Crawford, Helen Marshall, Samantha J. Carlson, Christopher Blyth, Ryan Lucas, Adam Irwin, Kristine Macartney, Philip N. Britton, Nicholas Wood

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5 Citations (Scopus)



The Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) network is an Australian hospital-based active surveillance system employing prospective case ascertainment for selected serious childhood conditions, particularly vaccine preventable diseases and potential adverse events follow-ing immunisation (AEFI). This report presents surveillance data for 2019.


Specialist nurses screened hospital admissions, emergency department records, laboratory and other data on a daily basis in seven paediatric tertiary referral hospitals across Australia, to identify chil-dren with the conditions under surveillance. Standardised protocols and case definitions were used across all sites. In 2019, the conditions under surveillance comprised: acute flaccid paralysis (AFP; a syndrome associated with poliovirus infection), acute childhood encephalitis (ACE), influenza, intus-susception (IS; a potential AEFI with rotavirus vaccines), pertussis, varicella-zoster virus infection (varicella and herpes zoster), invasive meningococcal and invasive Group A streptococcus diseases and two new conditions, Kawasaki disease and gram-negative bloodstream infections. An additional social research component continued to evaluate parental attitudes to influenza vaccination.


PAEDS captured 2,701 cases for 2019 across all conditions under surveillance. Key outcomes of PAEDS included: contribution to national AFP surveillance to reach the World Health Organization reporting targets for detection of poliomyelitis cases; demonstration of high influenza activity in 2019 and influenza-associated deaths in ACE cases; identification of key barriers to influenza vac-cination of children hospitalised for acute respiratory illness; reporting of all IS cases associated with vaccine receipt to relevant state health department; and showing a further reduction nationally in varicella cases. Enhanced pertussis surveillance continued to capture controls to support vaccine efficacy estimation. Invasive meningococcal disease surveillance surveillance showed predominance of serotype B and a reduction in cases nationally. Surveillance for invasive group A streptococcus captured severe cases in children. Monitoring of Kawasaki disease incidence and gram-negative bloodstream infections commenced.


PAEDS continues to provide unique policy-relevant data on serious paediatric conditions using sentinel hospital-based enhanced surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalCommunicable Diseases Intelligence
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021


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