Objectives: We developed an enhanced surveillance system for hepatitis B to improve the detection of newly acquired cases and to collect epidemiological data.

Methods: The study was undertaken from February to June (inclusive) 2005 at the Sydney South West Area Health Service Eastern Zone Public Health Unit. A letter was sent to treating doctors on receipt of a notification, requesting additional information on cases. Cases identified by the treating doctors as newly acquired were followed up by telephone.

Results: There were 295 notifications of hepatitis B in the period, of which three were newly acquired infections. Only one of these three cases was identified through enhanced surveillance. Information on ethnicity was obtained.

Conclusions: This enhanced surveillance system is of limited value as an ongoing process. We recommend that it be undertaken periodically to monitor the epidemiology of the disease.





Link to Publisher Version (DOI)