Background This study was performed to investigate the disease burden of seasonal influenza in adults ≥20 years of age in Korea, based on surveillance data from the Hospital-based Influenza Morbidity & Mortality Surveillance (HIMM) network. Materials and methods The HIMM network is composed of two surveillance systems: emergency room-based and inpatients-based surveillance. A total of ten university hospitals all over the country are included in the surveillance network. The adult catchment population of the HIMM network was calculated by using the data of each hospital and the database of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) of Korea. The incidence rates of laboratory-confirmed medically-attended influenza, laboratory-confirmed influenza-related admission and laboratory-confirmed influenza-related death were calculated based on the catchment population. The socioeconomic burden of influenza was estimated using the human capital approach. Results During the 2013-2014 influenza season, the calculated adult catchment population of the HIMM network was 1,380,000. The incidence of medically-attended laboratory-confirmed influenza infection was 242.8 per 100,000 adults. The incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza-related admission was 57.9 per 100,000 adults. The incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza-related death was 3.1 per 100,000 adults. The total socioeconomic cost of 2013-2014 seasonal influenza in Korean adult population was estimated as 125 million USD (1 USD = 1,100 KRW). Conclusion The disease burden of 2013-2014 seasonal influenza in Korean adult population is very high and indicates that more active prevention and control policies will be needed to decrease the burden. Additional researches will be needed to assess the burden of seasonal influenza in the Korean child population.
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