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Epidemiol Infect. 2014 May;142(5):984-93. doi: 10.1017/S095026881300188X. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Using public health scenarios to predict the utility of a national syndromic surveillance programme during the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Health Protection Agency (HPA), Real-time Syndromic Surveillance Team, Health Protection Services, Birmingham, UK.
HPA, Statistics, Modelling and Economics Department, London, UK.
HPA, West Midlands Regional Director's Office, Birmingham, UK.
HPA, Emergency Response Department, Porton Down, UK.
HPA, Health Protection Services, London, UK.
HPA, London Regional Director's Office, Head, WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings and High Consequence, High Visibility Events, London, UK.
HPA, Gastrointestinal, Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Department, HPS Colindale, London, UK.
HPA, Respiratory Diseases Department, HPS Colindale, London, UK.


During 2012 real-time syndromic surveillance formed a key part of the daily public health surveillance for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was vital that these systems were evaluated prior to the Games; in particular what types and scales of incidents could and could not be detected. Different public health scenarios were created covering a range of potential incidents that the Health Protection Agency would require syndromic surveillance to rapidly detect and monitor. For the scenarios considered it is now possible to determine what is likely to be detectable and how incidents are likely to present using the different syndromic systems. Small localized incidents involving food poisoning are most likely to be detected the next day via emergency department surveillance, while a new strain of influenza is more likely to be detected via GP or telephone helpline surveillance, several weeks after the first seed case is introduced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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