The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4132.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 1:06 PM

Abstract #68532

Active biosurveillance in a suburban metropolitan area

Sheryl L. Happel Lewis, MPH1, Kathy Hurt-Mullen, MPH2, Wayne Loschen, MS1, Richard A. Wojcik, MS1, and Joseph Lombardo, MS1. (1) National Security Technology Department, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723, 240-228-7604,, (2) Biodefense Team, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, 401 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

Montgomery County, a populous county in the metropolitan Washington, DC area, is home to many military, government, and government contracting organizations and is therefore considered at increased risk for bioterrorist attacks, including those that involve the intentional release of pathogens. In its efforts to be proactive in the field of disease surveillance, the county is utilizing the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE II). The web-based user interface of ESSENCE II is being utilized by the county’s Biodefense Team, local public health officials, and hospital Infection Control Professionals (ICPs) to monitor recent health activity in the county. Data from county hospitals, schools, fire/police, physician’s offices, and retailers are collected and analyzed in an automated fashion on a daily basis with results available on the system web site. Numerous detection algorithms analyze the data both temporally and spatially to determine whether anomalies exist in the community’s health. If anomalies are detected and an alert is signaled, epidemiologists can quickly drill down into the data to determine the cause of the alert. Understanding the data is the key to a successful disease surveillance system.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Handout (.pdf format, 1023.1 kb)

Bioterrorism and Epidemiology: Questions, Methods and Outcomes

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA