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. The delay in receiving the data (up to a year) hinders timely evidence-based decision making during the influenza season. Previous analyses (comparing the complete AHCA hospital discharge data to the ESSENCE-FL ILI syndrome and Influenza sub-syndrome) have shown ESSENCE-FL is a timely, effective tool to monitor influenza activity in the state and that the Influenza sub-syndrome most closely approximates influenza season activity in Florida. Adults > 65, pregnant women and children < 5 are at increased risk for morbidity and mortality from influenza infection. This investigation aims to determine if syndromic surveillance can be used to characterize in near real-time influenza infection in adults > 65, pregnant women, and children < 5 by comparing ED visits for influenza and ILI in ESSENCE-FL to historical AHCA records of people who incurred ED charges at a Florida hospital with diagnosed influenza.


To determine if emergency department (ED) based syndromic surveillance can be utilized to characterize in near real-time influenza infection in three high-risk populations: a) adults > 65, b) pregnant women, and c) children < 5.

Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2015

September 19, 2017

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