Utility of a Syndromic Surveillance System to Identify Disease Outbreaks with Reportable Disease Data

Carrie Eggers, Janet Hamilton, Richard Hopkins


The sensitivity and predictive value of a surveillance system (ESSENCE-FL) originally designed for syndromic data to identify possible outbreak activity using data from a reportable disease system was examined.  ESSENCE-FL-generated alerts were compared with confirmed outbreak activity for different infectious diseases over a 52-week period.  Results showed that although overall sensitivity of the system to detect outbreak activity was fairly low, the positive predictive value was relatively high.  This evaluation concludes that the application of reportable disease data within the ESSENCE-FL syndromic surveillance system is useful for prompting users of possible outbreak activity that warrants further inquiry.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v6i1.5197

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org