Increased Seizure Activity in Florida Associated with Hurricane Irma, September 2017

On September 10, 2017, Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane and subsequently tracked up the west side of the state. Due to the size of the storm, it impacted nearly all of Florida. The Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE-FL), the state’s syndromic surveillance system, captures 98% of the emergency department (ED) visits statewide and has historically served a vital function in providing near real-time ED data that are used to track post-disaster morbidity and mortality.

June 18, 2019

Approach to Onboarding Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Data Into a Syndromic Surveillance System

Syndromic surveillance has become an integral component of public health surveillance efforts within the state of Florida. The near real-time nature of these data are critical during events such as the Zika virus outbreak in Florida in 2016 and in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017. Additionally, syndromic surveillance data are utilized to support daily reportable disease detection and other surveillance efforts.

June 18, 2019

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

The Evaluation of Triage Notes Using ESSENCE-FL for Active Case Finding of Zika

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) utilizes the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community Based Epidemics (ESSENCE-FL) as its statewide syndromic surveillance system. ESSENCE-FL comprises of chief complaint data from 231 of 240 EDs, representing 96 percent of the total number of EDs in Florida. Historically, syndromic surveillance has categorized patient chief complaint data into syndromes for the purpose of disease surveillance or outbreak detection.

August 20, 2017

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

Day of Week Analysis of Myocardial Infarctions Using ESSENCE-FL Emergency Department Data

Syndromic surveillance ED data has historically shown the highest number of visits on Mondays, with decreasing volumes throughout the week. Previous studies have shown that increased negative health outcomes have occurred on Mondays. A study in the European Journal of Epidemiology provided evidence that suggests a higher incidence of cardiovascular events on Mondays compared to other days of the week.

Objective

August 31, 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

Using Syndromic Surveillance to Rapidly Describe the Early Epidemiology of Flakka Use in Florida, June 2014 – August 2015

Syndromic surveillance has historically been used to track infectious disease, but in recent years, many jurisdictions have utilized the systems to conduct all hazards surveillance and provide situational awareness with respect to previously identified issues. Flakka is a synthetic drug (class: cathinones) that recently has been featured in the media. Flakka is a stimulant that causes delusions, aggression, erratic behavior, a racing heart and sometimes death. Two specific counties (one in Florida and one in Kentucky) have been at the center of this emerging epidemic.

September 25, 2017

Evaluating the Utility of HealthMap as a Supplementary Surveillance Tool

HealthMap collects and aggregates information from online sources to generate outbreak alerts based on disease and geographic location. This project will assess the timeliness and sensitivity of HealthMap based on outbreak posts from EpiCom, the Florida Department of Health’s disease outbreak and health incident alert network.

Objective

October 13, 2017

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