2020 Syndromic Surveillance Symposium

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP), virtually convened the 2020 Syndromic Surveillance Symposium from November 17-19, 2020. The event was held during the following dates and times:

March 30, 2021

Economic Modeling of Syndromic Surveillance Systems -- A Roundtable Discussion on Association of state and Territorial Health Official's (ASTHO) Investment Decision Model

One of ASTHO’s key goals is to help its jurisdictions meet member needs for technical assistance, including making informed decisions about their syndromic surveillance options. To help them make such decisions, ASTHO worked with Booz Allen to create a decision analysis model, which factors in both a Value of Information (VOI) model and a Return on Investment (ROI) model. The model provides a dashboard of its outputs, which is a simple, easy-to-understand comparative view of multiple syndromic surveillance investment scenarios.


October 05, 2017

Effective Collaboration Models for Statiscians and Public Health Departments

Public health departments need enhanced surveillance tools for population monitoring, and external researchers have expertise and methods to provide these tools. However, collaboration with potential solution developers and students in academia, industry, and government has not been sufficiently close or well informed for rapid progress. Many peer-reviewed papers on biosurveillance methods have been published by researchers, but few methods have been adopted in systems used by health departments. In a 2013 BioSense User Group survey with responses from users in more than 40 U.S.

October 05, 2017

A Novel Method for Defining Health Facility Catchment Areas in a Low Income Country

The catchment area of a health-care facility is used to assess health service utilization and calculate population-based rates of disease. Current approaches for catchment definition have significant limitations such as being based solely on distance from the facility or using an arbitrary threshold for inclusion.


We propose a simple statistical method, the cumulative case ratio, for defining a catchment area using surveillance data.

October 18, 2017

Advancing Epidemic Prediction and Forecasting: A New US Government Initiative

The National Science and Technology Council, within the Executive Office of the President, established the Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology (PPFST) Working Group in 2013. The PPFST Working Group supports the US Predict the Next Pandemic Initiative, and serves as a forum to accelerate the development of federal infectious disease outbreak prediction and forecasting capabilities.

October 23, 2017

Ratio of Excess ED ILI Visits to Seroprevalence, Influenza A/H1N1 Infection, FL, 2009

A seroprevalence survey carried out in four counties in the Tampa Bay area of Florida (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Pasco) provided an estimate of cumulative incidence of infection due to the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) as of the end of that year’s pandemic. During the pandemic, high-level decison-makers wanted timely, credible forecasts as to the likely near-term course of the pandemic.

December 28, 2017

Utility of Data Fusion for Public Health Monitors: Lessons Learned from a Beta Test

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) supports the development of new analytical tools to improve alerting in the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) disease-monitoring application used by the Department of Defense (DoD). Developers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) have added an analytic capability to alert the user when corroborating evidence exists across syndromic and clinical data streams including laboratory tests and filled prescription records.

May 02, 2019

Paralysis Analysis: Investigating Paralysis Visit Anomalies in New Jersey

On July 11, 2012, New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) Communicable Disease Service (CDS) surveillance staff received email notification of a statewide anomaly in EpiCenter for Paralysis. Two additional anomalies followed within three hours. Since Paralysis Anomalies are uncommon, staff initiated an investigation to determine if there was an outbreak or other event of concern taking place. Also at question was whether receipt of multiple anomalies in such a short time span was statistically or epidemiologically significant.


July 09, 2018

Novel Approach to Statewide Biosurveillance Using Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Information

The purpose of the National Collaborative for Bio-preparedness (NCB-P) is to enhance biosurveillance and situational awareness to better inform decision-making using a statewide approach. EMS represents a unique potential data source because it intersects with patients at the point of insult or injury, thus providing information on the timing and location of care.

May 02, 2019

Automated Syndromic Surveillance System in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County (LAC) Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Unit has made significant progress in automating the syndromic surveillance system. The surveillance system receives electronic data on a daily basis from different hospital information systems, then standardizes and generates analytical results.


This article describes architecture, analytical method, and software applications used in automating the LAC syndromic surveillance system.

July 30, 2018


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NSSP Community of Practice

Email: syndromic@cste.org


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