Tracking Health Effects of Wildfires: The Oregon ESSENCE Wildfire Pilot Project


Wildfires occur annually in Oregon, and the health risks of wildfire smoke are well documented1. Before implementing syndromic surveillance through Oregon ESSENCE, assessing the health effects of wildfires in real time was very challenging. Summer 2015 marked the first wildfire season with 60 of 60 eligible Oregon emergency departments (EDs) reporting to ESSENCE. The Oregon ESSENCE team developed a wildfire surveillance pilot project with two local public health authorities (LPHAs) to determine their surveillance needs and practices and developed a training program to increase capacity to conduct surveillance at the local level. Following the training, one of the LPHAs integrated syndromic surveillance into its routine surveillance practices. Oregon ESSENCE also integrated the evaluation findings into the summer 2016 statewide wildfire surveillance plan.


To build capacity to conduct syndromic surveillance at the local level by leveraging a health surveillance need.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2016

August 20, 2017

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