Monitoring Insect Bites in Hospital Emergency Department Intake Data

Insects and arachnids are vectors for many diseases that have public health significance. In areas where these diseases are endemic, health departments routinely monitor these populations and apply control measures as needed. In other regions, monitoring is usually infeasible or unnecessary, but under extraordinary circumstances, such as widespread flooding, it could provide valuable information for disease containment.

The Ohio Department of Health provides one example. It demonstrated in 2008 that monitoring emergency department complaints related to mosquito and insect bites was useful for tracking the increase in mosquito populations that follows a major flood. Thus EpiCenter could be used to monitor disease vector populations in extraordinary circumstances in areas where the capacity for traditional trapping methods is not maintained.

Poster: “Monitoring Hospital Emergency Department Visits for Chief Complaints of Insect Bites after a Major Flood”, ISDS Conference 2008

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