Report of Influenza Season in Tasmania

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Applied Exercise

We have kindly been provided with a historical data set from the Public Health Department of Tasmania. Please download the UTAS Influenza dataset for MPH 2007-2016.xlsx (Microsoft Excel file) for this assignment.

NOTE that the DATA have been modified for teaching purposes

Please complete the following task and answer the questions against each task.

Question 1. Use a table or graph to summarise data by influenza type and year from 2007 to 2016

  1. Describe the main features.

Question 2. To practice working with data you are required to narrow down your search to 2015 and 2016 data. Use a table to summarise the data by month, influenza type and subtype for this period.

Note that under subtype you will see only the “H” (haemagglutinin) component of the subtype is reported, such as H1 or H3. You can usually assume that if these were subjected to complete subtyping, they would be found to have the “N” (neuraminidase) component that corresponds to circulating influenza A viruses with the same “H” component. That is, subtype H1 cases are probably all H1N1, and subtype H3 cases are probably all H3N2.

  1. Describe how the annual influenza epidemic progressed in each of these years, with reference to the types and subtypes of influenza that occurred each year.

Question 3. Using 2016 data set only, calculate and format a table to describe the rates per 100 000 of influenza by sex and by 5-year age group.

You will need to find data on the age of Tasmanians from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for that period: try to use quickstats census data.

  1. Present the data and describe the main features of the age distribution of influenza notification for that year
  2. Briefly describe the main features of the sex distribution of influenza notification for that year.

Question 4. Using the 2016 data, calculate and use a table to describe the rates per 100 000 of influenza that year by influenza type and region.

Use the following regional populations for this purpose: North 142 842, North-west 112 920 and South 254 757.

Question 5. Using the 8 year data set 2009 and 2016 only, graph the age distribution of subtypes by year and describe the main features, similarities and difference. Please justify the graph type you have selected and why. Consider why these years may look different. This task will help you answer Question 7 in more detail

Note – Please consider types, age groups and geography and feel free to compare the previous years but we ask you to exclude 2007 and 2008 to remove unknowns and keep to 2009 and 2016 data set

Question 6. Compare and contrast the influenza seasons across Tasmania for 2009 and 2016. If you use graphs or charts please justify your selection

Question 7. Use the information from Question 5 and 6 to present a summary report of the influenza season in Tasmania in 2016 to the Director of Health. Your final summary and conclusions should not exceed two pages (1000 words). Word count does not include figures and graphs or references. You have been given the freedom to work within this page limit. Why?

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