Utilizing Syndromic Surveillance for Hurricane Irma-Related CO Poisonings in Florida

On September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. Over 90% of Florida counties reported power outages as of September 11. During power outages, CO poisonings often occur due to indoor use of fuel combustion sources (e.g., cooking, heating) or generators for electricity. CO poisoning is a reportable condition in Florida; health care providers and laboratories are required to report suspected cases to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). In Florida, approximately 202 cases of CO poisoning are reported each year (three-year average from 2014 to 2016).

June 18, 2019

Identifying and Communicating the Importance of the Variable Nature of SyS Data

As syndromic surveillance systems continue to grow, new opportunities have arisen to utilize the data in new or alternative ways for which the system was not initially designed. For example, in many jurisdictions syndromic surveillance has recently become population-based, with 100% coverage of targeted emergency department encounters. This makes the data more valuable for real- time evaluation of public health and prevention programs. There has also been increasing pressure to make more data publicly available – to the media, academic partners, and the general public. 

July 06, 2017

MERS PUI Surveillance and Restrospective Identification in ESSENCE-FL, 2013-2015

Human MERS-CoV was first reported in September 2012. Globally, all reported cases have been linked through travel to or residence in the Arabian Peninsula with the exception of cases associated with an outbreak involving multiple health care facilities in the Republic of Korea ending in July 2015. While the majority of MERS-CoV cases have been reported in the Arabian Peninsula, several cases have been reported outside of the region. Most cases are believed to have been acquired in the Middle East and then exported elsewhere, with no or rare instances of secondary transmission.

July 16, 2017

Characterizing Fentanyl-Associated Mortality using the Literal Causes of Death

In October 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released health advisory #384 to inform people about increases in fentanyl fatalities. Florida’s statewide syndromic surveillance system, Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE-FL), captures electronic death record data in near real time which allows for the monitoring of mortality trends across the state.

August 15, 2017

Syndromic Surveillance Evaluation of Influenza Activity in At-Risk Sub-Populations

Near real-time emergency department chief complaint data is accessed through Florida’s syndromic surveillance system: Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Communitybased Epidemics-Florida (ESSENCE-FL). The Florida Department of Health relies heavily upon these data for timely surveillance of influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI). Hospital discharge data available from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) captures information about influenza-associated ED visits and is considered complete.

September 19, 2017

Monitoring Respiratory Syncytial Virus Regionally In Children Aged < 5 Years Old Using Emergency Department and Urgent Care Center Chief Complaint Data in Florida’s Syndromic Surveillance System, Week 1, 2010 - Week 32, 2014

National studies estimate that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is responsible for one in 38 emergency department (ED) visits for children < 5 years old. The Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists position statement (13-ID-07): “RSV-Associated Pediatric Mortality” advocates for improved RSV surveillance including monitoring of RSV-associated pediatric mortality and hospitalizations. The goal of that data collection is to establish prevaccine baselines to evaluate vaccine effectiveness should one become available.

November 22, 2017

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