National Surveillance for Health-Related Workplace Absenteeism, United States 2017-18

During an influenza pandemic, when hospitals and doctors'™ offices are or are perceived to be overwhelmed, many ill people may not seek medical care. People may also avoid medical facilities due to fear of contracting influenza or transmitting it to others. Therefore, syndromic methods for monitoring illness outside of health care settings are important adjuncts to traditional disease reporting. Monitoring absenteeism trends in schools and workplaces provide the archetypal examples for such approaches.

June 18, 2019

Cause-Specific School Absenteeism Monitoring Identifies Community Influenza Outbreaks

Transmission and amplification of influenza within schools has been purported as a driving mechanism for subsequent outbreaks in surrounding communities. However, the number of studies assessing the utility of monitoring school absenteeism as an indicator of influenza in the community is limited. ORCHARDS was initiated to evaluate the relationships between all-cause (a-Tot), illness-related (a-I), and influenza-like illness (ILI)-related absenteeism (a-ILI) within a school district and medically attended influenza A or B visits within the same community.

January 25, 2018

The Impact of Standardized Decision Support on Syndromic Surveillance in Alberta

Syndromic surveillance uses pre-diagnostic data to inform communicable disease prevention and control. Among health zones in the province of Alberta, Canada, practices employed by public health when using elementary school illness-cause absenteeism data vary widely.


The objective of this study was to carry out a mixed-methods evaluation of the ability of standardized supports to improve the usefulness of school absenteeism syndromic surveillance for public health in Alberta.

September 21, 2017

An Exploration of the H1N1 Outbreak in Champaign and Urbana Elementary Schools

Champaign and Urbana, Illinois are considered twin cities that share the University of Illinois. Due to different geographic recruitment procedures, Champaign and Urbana public elementary schools offer a particularly novel opportunity to examine the H1N1 outbreak among students. Urbana schools recruit from specific geographic areas (neighborhoods) designated by the school district whereas Champaign schools are non-selective in their composition where students residing in Champaign can attend any school within the city.


September 25, 2017

Evaluation of an Electronic Smart-Card Based School Absenteeism Surveillance System

An electronic smart-card based school absenteeism surveillance system was introduced to Hong Kong since 2008. The pilot surveillance system initially began with 18 schools in 2008, and expanded to 107 schools in the current academic year of 2013-14. Data on all-cause absenteeism were collected from all participating schools and absenteeism due to sickness such as influenza-like illness, gastroenteritis and hand-foot-and-mouth disease were collected from 39 (36.4%) schools. Data collected were aggregated for the whole territory on a weekly basis for analysis.

November 01, 2017

Modeling Spatial Heterogeneity with Excess Zeroes from School Absenteeism dSata

Absenteeism has been considered as a potential indicator for the early detection of infectious disease outbreaks in population, especially in primary schools. However, in practice this data are often characterized by an excess of zeros and spatial heterogeneity. In a project on integrated syndromic surveillance system (ISSC) in rural China, Random effect zero-inflated Poisson (RE-ZIP) model was applied to simultaneously quantify the spatial heterogeneity for “occurrence” and “intensity” on school absenteeism data.


November 22, 2017

Applying Zero-inflated Mixed Model to School Absenteeism Surveillance in Rural China

Absenteeism has great advantages in promoting the early detection of epidemics1. Since August 2011, an integrated syndromic surveillance project (ISSC) has been implemented in China2. Distribution of the absenteeism generally are asymmetry, zero inflation, truncation and non-independence3. For handling these encumbrances, we should apply the Zero-inflated Mixed Model (ZIMM).


January 24, 2018

Estimation of Influenza Incidence by Age in the 2011/12 Seasons in Japan using SASSy

So as to develop more effective countermeasures against influenza, timely and precise information about influenza activity at schools, kindergartens, and nursery schools may be helpful. At the Infectious Diseases Surveillance Center of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, a School Absenteeism Surveillance System (SASSy) has been in operation since 2009. SASSy monitors the activity of varicella, mumps, mycoplasma pneumonia, pharyngoconjunctival fever, hand-foot-mouth disease, influenza, and many other infectious diseases in schools.

March 19, 2018

Incorporation of School Absenteeism Data into the Maryland Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE)

Syndromic surveillance offers the potential for earlier detection of bioterrorism, outbreaks, and other public health emergencies than traditional disease surveillance. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Office of Preparedness and Response (OP&R) conducts syndromic surveillance using the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE). Since its inception, ESSENCE has been a vital tool for DHMH, providing continuous situational awareness for public health policy decision makers.

May 18, 2018

A Comparison of SaTScan and FleXScan for Outbreak Detection and Monitoring

This paper describes a comparison between two statistics ñ SaTScan and FleXScan, applying to a data of absentees in primary school in Japan.

July 30, 2018


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