Evaluation of hepatitis C surveillance in Poland in 1998
The aim was to evaluate hepatitis C surveillance in Poland during 1998. Hepatitis C reports were obtained from epidemiology offices. Public health staff were interviewed to collect information on surveillance operations. To estimate the proportion of acute cases among the total reported, a study was conducted in the Warsaw district to validate case reports. A total of 1661 (97.2%) hepatitis C cases were studied. Hepatitis C surveillance was timely and acceptable to the user, but did not provide a number of information elements required to differentiate acute from chronic cases of infection. Of the 268 case reports available in the Warsaw district, only 15 (5.6%) met the acute hepatitis C case definition. It is concluded that hepatitis C surveillance in Poland cannot provide useful incidence estimates and information regarding risk factors for acute infection. A strict case definition and a modified case form with specific questions for HCV transmission routes should be applied.(Accepted February 26 2002)
c1 Author for correspondence: National Institute of Hygiene, Department of Epidemiology, Chocimska 24, 00 – 791 Warsaw, Poland.