On 12 January 2010 at 1652 hours local time, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and created enormous devastation. Florida, as the state closest to Haiti, became an initial focal point for assisting the federal repatriation and humanitarian parolee efforts. Florida supported shipments of personnel and relief supplies into Haiti, and served as the point of entry for repatriated U.S. citizens and those evacuated from Haiti for medical care. As of 9 February 2010, there were 22,500 arrivals in Florida from Haiti related to repatriation and medical humanitarian missions. These patients primarily arrived in Miami, Tampa and Orlando areas. Approximately 650 people arrived in Florida during this period as medical evacuees, and were transported to and often directly admitted to hospitals for treatment of severe or complicated injuries. Some of these patients also generated emergency department (ED) visits on arrival.
To describe the public health surveillance efforts designed to measure syndromic and disease-specific conditions in patients who were in Haiti during or after the earthquake, and evacuated to Florida.