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Euro Surveill. 2006;11(12):225-9.

Syndromic surveillance based on emergency department activity and crude mortality: two examples.

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Institut de veille sanitaire, Saint-Maurice, France.


Recent public health crises have shown the need for readily available information allowing proper management by decision-makers. One way of obtaining early information is to involve data providers who already record routine data for their own use. We describe here the results of a pilot network carried out by the InVS (Institut national de veille sanitaire) which gathered data available in real time from hospital emergency departments and register offices. Emergency departments data were registered from patients' computerized medical files. Mortality data were received from the national institute of statistics (Insee). Data were transmitted automatically on a daily basis. Influenza data from outbreaks in 2004/05 and 2005/06 were compared with data from the sentinel network for the same periods. Environmental health data were compared with meteorological temperatures recorded in Paris between June and August 2006. A mortality analysis was conducted on a weekly basis. Correlation between influenza data from emergency departments and data from Sentiweb (sentinel network) was significant (p<0.001) for both outbreaks. In 2005 and 2006, the outbreaks were described similarly by both sources with identification of the start of the outbreaks by both systems during the same weeks. As for data related to heat, a significant correlation was observed between some diagnoses and temperature increases. For both types of phenomena, mortality increased significantly with one to two weeks lag. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a study using real time morbidity and mortality data is conducted. These initial results show how these data complement each other and how their simultaneous analysis in real time makes it possible to quickly measure the impact of a phenomenon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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