Communicating the detection capabilities of syndromic surveillance systems

Increasingly public health decision-makers are using syndromic surveillance for real-time reassurance and situational awareness in addition to early warning1. Decision-makers using intelligence, including syndromic data, need to understand what the systems are capable of detecting, what they cannot detect and specifically how much reassurance should be inferred when syndromic systems report nothing detected. In this study we quantify the detection capabilities of syndromic surveillance systems used by Public Health England (PHE).

June 18, 2019

Assessing the burden of arboviral diseases using a multiplexed serological survey in French Guiana

Arboviral infections have become a significant public health problem with the emergence and re-emergence of arboviral diseases worldwide in recent decades. Given the increasing number of cases, geographic spread, but also health, social and economic impact of arboviral outbreaks, estimating their true burden represents a crucial issue but remains a difficult task.

June 18, 2019

Rhetorical Framing and Needle Exchange in Rural Indiana: Shifting Perspectives and Policy

Political discourse surrounding matters of public health is exigent because human life is at stake this is unquestionably the case with respect to widespread opioid addiction. While intravenous drug use itself is described as a health concern, the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV through the sharing of needles is a disease surveillance emergency. This research centers on municipal-level decision making in the community of greater Lafayette, Indiana.

June 18, 2019

A Funding Crisis for Public Health and Safety: State-by-State and Federal Public Health Funding Facts and Recommendations 2018

Each year, Trust for America’s Health releases A Funding Crisis for Public Health and Safety: State-by-State and Federal Public Health Funding Facts and Recommendations to examine level of federal and state public health funding that each state receives. This review also provides policymakers and communities with an independent analysis of how their communities protect their health; encourages transparency and accountability; and recommends strategies to modernize the nation’s public health system.

The report includes eight key recommendations:

March 28, 2018

Informing Public Health Prevention in NC Using Falls Surveillance Data

Falls are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury in NC. As the size of the older adult population is predicted to increase over the next few decades, it is likely that the incidence of falls-related morbidity and mortality will increase in tandem. In order to address this public health emergency, the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB) of the NC Division of Public Health has partnered with the Carolina Center for Health Informatics (CCHI) in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to perform falls surveillance activities.

January 21, 2018

What value can Google search data add to existing syndromic surveillance systems?

Globally, there have been various studies assessing trends in Google search terms in the context of public health surveillance1. However, there has been a predominant focus on individual health outcomes such as influenza, with limited evidence on the added value and practical impact on public health action for a range of diseases and conditions routinely monitored by existing surveillance programmes. A proposed advantage is improved timeliness relative to established surveillance systems.

January 25, 2018

Epi Evident: Biosurveillance to Monitor, Compare, and Forecast Disease Case Counts

The Epi Evident application was designed for clear and comprehensive visualization for monitoring, comparing, and forecasting notifiable diseases simultaneously across chosen countries. Epi Evident addresses the taxing analytical evaluation of how diseases behave differently across countries. This application provides a user-friendly platform with easily interpretable analytics which allows analysts to conduct biosurveillance with minimal user tasks.

January 25, 2018

Development and Piloting of National Injury Surveillance System of Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a major drawback in injury prevention is the lack of complete, accurate and timely data. To fulfill this data need, in 2006, Sri Lanka's Trauma Secretariat piloted an Injury Surveillance System (ISS) in four hospitals. This comprised of two parts: a paper-based data collection tool (Trauma Surveillance Record or TSR) and its corresponding software application. TSR recorded ICD-10 Chapter XIX codes related to the diagnoses of injuries, but did not record the Chapter XX codes pertaining to external causes of morbidity which provide essential knowledge for injury prevention.

August 22, 2018

Detecting Public Health Impacts Associated with Air Pollution Events in the UK Using Syndromic Surveillance

Air pollution is well documented to cause adverse health effects in the population. Epidemiological/toxicological studies have demonstrated that air pollution is associated with various adverse health outcomes, ranging from mortality to subclinical respiratory symptoms. Classical epidemiological studies of the health effects of air pollution are typically retrospective. In order to assess the effectiveness of any public health messages or interventions in a timely manner there is a need to be able to systematically detect any health effects occurring in real-time.

August 22, 2018

COMBS: A Biosurveillance Ecosystem (BSVE) Prototype

COMBS is facilitating analyst workflows and collaboration, greatly accelerating the management of a bio-event, effectively implementing new capabilities and technologies, and providing opportunities for a wide variety of organizations to contribute data and tools that support their own goals while supporting and governing the ecosystem collaboratively.


August 22, 2018


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