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Syndromic Surveillance on the Mental Health Impact of Political Rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia


As part of a wide-spread community discussion on the presence of monuments to Confederate Civil War figures, the Charlottesville city council voted to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Multiple rallies were then held to protest the statue’s removal. A Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rally on July 8, 2017 (MMWR Week 27) and a Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017 (MMWR Week 32) held in Charlottesville both resulted in violence and media attention. The violence associated with the Unite the Right rally included fatalities connected to motor vehicle and helicopter crashes. Syndromic surveillance has been used to study the impact of terrorism on a community’s mental health while more traditional data sources have looked at the impact of racially-charged civil unrest. Syndromic surveillance, however, has not previously been used to document the effect of racially-charged violence on the health of a community.


To describe the impact of civil unrest on the mental health of a community in near real-time using syndromic surveillance.

Submitted by elamb on