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Syndromic surveillance for local outbreak detection and awareness: evaluating outbreak signals of acute gastroenteritis in telephone triage, web-based queries and over-the-counter pharmacy sales
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics. Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI), Sweden.
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2014 (English)In: Epidemiology and Infection, ISSN 0950-2688, E-ISSN 1469-4409, Vol. 142, no 2, 303-313 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For the purpose of developing a national system for outbreak surveillance, local outbreak signals were compared in three sources of syndromic data-telephone triage of acute gastroenteritis, web queries about symptoms of gastrointestinal illness, and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmacy sales of antidiarrhoeal medication. The data sources were compared against nine known waterborne and foodborne outbreaks in Sweden in 2007-2011. Outbreak signals were identified for the four largest outbreaks in the telephone triage data and the two largest outbreaks in the data on OTC sales of antidiarrhoeal medication. No signals could be identified in the data on web queries. The signal magnitude for the fourth largest outbreak indicated a tenfold larger outbreak than officially reported, supporting the use of telephone triage data for situational awareness. For the two largest outbreaks, telephone triage data on adult diarrhoea provided outbreak signals at an early stage, weeks and months in advance, respectively, potentially serving the purpose of early event detection. In conclusion, telephone triage data provided the most promising source for surveillance of point-source outbreaks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 142, no 2, 303-313 p.
Keyword [en]
outbreaks, Foodborne infections, waterborne infections, syndromic surveillance, statistics
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-104578DOI: 10.1017/S0950268813001088ISI: 000332524300010OAI: diva2:723896


Available from: 2014-06-11 Created: 2014-06-11 Last updated: 2014-06-18Bibliographically approved

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