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Application of Event-Based Biosurveillance to the 2011 E. coli Outbreak in Germany


Argus is an event-based, multi-lingual surveillance system which captures and analyzes information from publicly available Internet media. Argus produces reports that summarize and contextualize indications and warning (I&W) of emerging threats, and makes these reports available to the system's users. The significance of the Escherichia coli (EHEC) outbreak analyzed here lies primarily in the fact that it raised epidemiological questions and public health infrastructure concerns that have yet to be resolved, and required the development of new resources for detecting and responding to newly-emerging epidemics.



To demonstrate how event-based biosurveillance, using direct and indirect I&W of disease, provides early warning and situational awareness of the emergence of infectious diseases that have the potential to cause social disruption and negatively impact public health infrastructure, trade, and the economy. Specifically, tracking of I&W during the 2011 enterohaemorrhagic EHEC O104:H4 outbreak in Germany and Europe was selected to illustrate this methodology.

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