3016.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 12:30 PM

Abstract #13549

Evaluation of the British Columbia (BC) surveillance of enteric diseases

Jamal Harb, MSc, BA, CPHIC, Health Canada and BC Center For Disease Control, Health Canada, LCDC, Field Epidemiology Training Program, 655 West 12th avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4R4, Canada, 604-660-4662, jamal.harb@bccdc.hnet.bc.ca

Introduction: The Communicable Disease Surveillance System (CDSS) of BC is a tool used for monitoring, identifying and describing trends in incidence and outbreaks of diseases. The sources of data are inputted using computers and transferred weekly via modems from 18 BC health regions .

Consequently, disease reporting may be constrained by numerous limitations including human resources. To determine how representative CDSS is of the actual disease burden, this study described and evaluated CDSS using Salmonellosis as the target disease.

Methodology: Salmonella isolates identified in BC laboratories are sent to Provincial Laboratory for confirmation. For this study, Provincial Laboratory data was compared to CDSS data to arrive at a sensitivity measure. The data set included Salmonella cases occurring between 01/01/1998 to 12/31/1998. Data linkage of laboratory cases to CDSS cases was performed using Access. Description of the surveillance system, public-health-importance of Salmonellosis, usefulness of generated data and resources needed to operate CDSS was compiled through interviews with end-users.

Results: During 1998, the Provincial Laboratory received 684 salmonella isolates. In the same period, CDSS recorded 637 cases of Salmonellosis. Sensitivity of CDSS was calculated to be 93%. On average, case reporting into CDSS required 13 days from onset of symptoms.

Conclusion: CDSS is simple, flexible, has a high PVP and is generally acceptable to the health regions. The data generated from CDSS is useful in helping health officials describe disease trends and understand that Salmonellosis is an important cause of morbidity in BC. However, CDSS lacks timeliness, which is significant to prevention and control of enteric diseases.

Learning Objectives: -define public health surveillance -outline steps in developing a surveillance system -define and evaluate the attributes of a surveillance system

Keywords: Surveillance, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: British columbia Center for Disease Control
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA