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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. After previous hurricanes and tropical storms, increases in carbon monoxide poisonings, animal bites, and injuries have been documented. During post-Irma surveillance, an additional increase in seizure-related ED visits was observed.

Objective: Using Florida's syndromic surveillance data, to describe the increase in seizure activity in the days after Hurricane Irma made landfall in 2017

Submitted by elamb on