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The COVID-19-barometer collects data from general practitioners about the consultations in the current health crisis. The aim is to monitor the evolution of the pandemic in Belgium as closely as possible. During winter and the associated viruses (specifically those of influenza), the Barometer also aims to differentiate between these different infections.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need to closely monitor the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the primary health care, especially among general practitioners.
A first version of the barometer was initiated in March 2020 and aimed to collect data from general practitioners on COVID-19. In September 2020, this first version of the COVID-19 Barometer was adapted, both in terms of how the data are collected and the data that are collected, but the objective remains the same: to develop and implement a tool to monitor in general practices for the COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium.
Specifically, the barometer 2.0 aims to monitor acute respiratory tract infections, influenza syndromes and suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections, which is particularly important to guide the approach of suspected COVID-19 cases in the primary care sector in line with testing capacity and syndromic surveillance.
The collected data relate to the number of patients with acute respiratory tract infection (ARI), influenza-like infection (ILI), viral syndrome (code A77 — ICPC2), suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Automated queries in GPs’ medical software packages generate these numbers which are transmitted several times a week and published once a week in a public report (Numbers | sciensano.be).
In addition, this tool will enable each GP to visualize his or her own data, and to situate themselves in relation to other practitioners in their circle or region (compiled and anonymous data).
In 2023, new technical developments and updates of the Barometer 2.0 will be implemented to further improve the quality of results and facilitate its use. One of the most important changes will be the automatisation of the data extraction/transmission. The goal is also to integrate the Barometer into other respiratory tract infections surveillances, in addition to COVID-19.
More information about the barometer
Do you have a question about the barometer? Contact the barometer team