Australia’s active hospital-based surveillance for severe childhood disease


Principal investigator 

Associate Professor Nick Wood

Febrile seizures are the most common type of childhood seizures, occurring 1 in 30 children aged 6 months to 6 years. They are associated with a sudden rise in temperature, most often from a viral illness. Certain vaccines, including measles-containing vaccines and some influenza vaccines, have been associated with an increased risk of febrile seizures. A PAEDS study was conducted between May 2013 and June 2014, gathering detailed clinical and epidemiological information on all febrile seizure presentations to 5 PAEDS sites. These data were used to determine the risk of febrile seizures following the introduction of new vaccines on the National Immunisation Program and to compare clinical outcomes of children who experienced a febrile seizure following a vaccination with children who experienced a febrile seizure unrelated to a vaccination event. The results of these studies have been published. In addition, children in this study were invited to participate in an NHMRC-funded longer-term follow-up study, led by Associate Professor Nicholas Wood, examining these children’s developmental outcomes and genetic susceptibility to febrile seizures compared with healthy children.