Posters, articles, presentations, and other research-based communications.

Use of syndromic ILI surveillance as a proxy for influenza sentinel surveillance

Salt Lake Valley Health Department (SLVHD) uses syndromic surveillance to monitor influenza-like illness (ILI) activity as part of a comprehensive influenza surveillance program.  During the 2009 spring and fall waves of novel H1N1 influenza, sentinel surveillance became increasingly burdensome for both community clinics and SLVHD.  Given that syndromic surveillance is more efficient and less error-prone, SLVHD evaluated its syndromic surveillance system to determin if  it could be an effective proxy for influenza sentinel surveillance.

The results, shown in a poster that can be accessed here, were overwhelmingly positive, showing a strong correlation between syndromic ILI and sentinel provider ILI cases.

Enhancing Syndromic Surveillance Through Cross-border Data Sharing

The Ohio Department of Health and the Indiana State Department of Health enhanced their individual syndromic efforts through cross-border sharing of emergency department (ED) chief complaint data.

 A poster of this project is available here.

Detection of Enteric Disease Epidemics Using a Diarrhea-specific Category

The Utah Department of Health documented a single epidemic of cryptosporidiosis in Utah during 2007. Seven hundred eleven laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in Salt Lake County, Utah from July 27 through December 18. Illness onset date was available for 86% (611 of 711) of patients and ranged from May 30 through November 11. Approximately 32% (224 of 691) of patients sought care in area emergency departments or urgent care facilities, and 8.5% (50 of 590 with data available) of patients required hospitalization.

This graph shows emergency department visits classified as diarrhea for patients of all ages and genders. The intersection of the lines toward the beginning of August indicates that EpiCenter would have detected this health event in its early stages.

A poster of this evaluation is available here.



Preferences & Perceptions of Biosurveillance System Users

Early detection is a function of many biosurveillance systems that strives to decrease the time between the onset of an event (e.g. infectious disease epidemic) and discovery. Situational awareness is another function that provides for timely information that public health can use to assess status of events (e.g. outbreak progression or general community health). With 1 being “No Importance” and 5 being “Most Important”, please rate each of these functions as they relate to your desires. (65 respondents)

A poster of this survey is available here.

Evaluation of Microbiology Orders from a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory as a Potential Data Source for Early Outbreak Detection

Animals continue to be recognized as a potential source of surveillance data for detecting emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism preparedness, pandemic influenza preparedness, and detection of other zoonotic diseases.  Dr. Loren Shaffer explores this issue in a paper published by Advances in Disease Surveillance and can be accessed from their website.

Contributing to a One-Medicine Approach: Cross-Species Disease Surveillance

By: Loren E. Shaffer, MPH, PhD

While the majority of potential bioweapons and emerging infectious diseases are associated with disease-causing agents that are zoonotic, detection of a zoonotic disease outbreak continues to rely on the identification of human cases. Existing disease surveillance in animals is inadequate to detect outbreaks of zoonoses early. Development of outbreak surveillance that is integrated across multiple species is warranted to improve our capabilities of detecting outbreaks earlier and providing the opportunity for implementation of earlier interventions that reduce morbidity, mortality, and economic burden. The author describes investigations they have completed into the using data from a veterinary diagnostic laboratory for the early detection of outbreaks caused by zoonotic pathogens. Results demonstrate the occurrence of increased incidence of disease affecting humans and animals at the same time and indicate the possibility of significantly earlier warning of these and like events.

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