The bioterrorism events of 2001 highlighted the need for improved public health surveillance systems that could provide an early warning for the identification of an intentional biologic agent release. Traditional surveillance systems track incidences of diseases. However, a definitive diagnosis can often be made only following the course of the disease and after performing laboratory tests. Waiting for an accurate diagnosis takes time and could cost lives. This grant supports the development of a surveillance system that will use existing electronic hospital data on the signs and symptoms of a disease, rather than confirmed diagnosis of the disease itself. This syndromic surveillance system could provide an early warning for the identification of large outbreaks, whether intentional or occurring naturally. The deliverables for this project are: (1) development and implementation of a surveillance system for rapidly detecting and reporting unusual geographic and temporal disease patterns in a population; and (2) development of a report evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the surveillance system. This project will be considered successful if it: (1) provides a faster and more sensitive system of identifying and reporting unusual population disease patterns; and (2) provides the Foundation with evaluative evidence of the utility of this type of surveillance system.
Amount Awarded $343,789.00
Awarded on: 2/4/2003
Time frame: 3/1/2003 - 9/30/2005
Grant Number: 44696