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Using Syndromic Surveillance Data to Monitor Endocarditis and Sepsis among Drug Users


Recreational drug use is a major problem in the United States and around the world. Specifically, drug abuse results in heavy use of emergency department (ED) services, and is a high financial burden to society and to the hospitals due to chronic ill health and multiple injection drug use complications. Intravenous drug users are at high risk of developing sepsis and endocarditis due to the use of a dirty or infected needle that is either shared with someone else or re-used. It can also occur when a drug user repeatedly injects into an inflamed and infected site or due to the poor overall health of an injection drug user. The average cost of hospitalization for aortic valve replacement in USA is about $165,000, and in order for the valve replacement to be successful, patients must abstain from using drugs.


To describe how the state syndromic surveillance system (NC DETECT) was used to initiate near real time surveillance for endocarditis, sepsis and skin infection among drug users.

Submitted by Magou on