Summary of Research on Information Value

Table 22.1 summarizes the results of the above studies. The categories of OTC healthcare products that show the most promise for the early detection of disease outbreaks include pediatric electrolytes for large outbreaks of respiratory and gastrointestinal disease in children (including disease caused by influenza virus, rotavirus, and respiratory syncytial virus); flu remedies, chest rubs, and "cold, cough, sinus, and allergy medications'' for large outbreaks of respiratory disease; diarrhea remedies for waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis and other gastrointestinal pathogens; and thermometers, pediatric cough syrups, and pediatric antifever medications for outbreaks of influenza.

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