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Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Influenza-like Illness and Antiviral Medication Transactions


The electronic surveillance system for the early notification of community-based epidemics (ESSENCE) is the web-based syndromic surveillance system utilized by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). ESSENCE utilizes a secure, automated process for the transfer of data to the ESSENCE system that is consistent with federal standards for electronic disease surveillance. Data sources in the Maryland ESSENCE system include ED chief complaints, poison control center calls, over-the-counter (OTC) medication sales, and pharmaceutical transaction data (specifically for anti-bacterial and anti-viral medications). All data sources have statewide coverage and are captured daily in near real-time fashion.


To examine the trends in prescription antiviral medication transactions and emergency department (ED) visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) and the relationship between these trends.

Submitted by elamb on