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This report aims to evaluate the usefulness of self-sampling as an approach for future national surveillance of emerging respiratory infections by comparing virological data from two parallel surveillance schemes in England. Nasal swabs were obtained via self-administered sampling from consenting adults (≥?16 years-old) with influenza symptoms who had contacted the National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) health line during the 2009 influenza pandemic. Equivalent samples submitted by sentinel general practitioners participating in the national influenza surveillance scheme run jointly by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Health Protection Agency were also obtained. When comparable samples were analysed there was no significant difference in results obtained from self-sampling and clinician-led sampling schemes. These results demonstrate that self-sampling can be applied in a responsive and flexible manner, to supplement sentinel clinician-based sampling, to achieve a wide spread and geographically representative way of assessing community transmission of a known organism.


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