HOW DO YOU TRACK VISTIS TO EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS FOR INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS?
The Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) is a web-based syndromic surveillance system designed for the early detection of disease outbreaks, suspicious patterns of illness, and public health emergencies. ESSENCE incorporates traditional and non-traditional health indicators from multiple data sources (emergency department chief complaints, over-the-counter medication sales, and poison control center data).
Data are categorized into syndromes to detect aberrations in the expected level of disease. Automated statistical algorithms are run on each syndrome and alerts are generated when the observed counts are higher than expected. The data are reviewed daily by the Office of Preparedness and Response. For more information, please visit http://preparedness.dhmh.maryland.gov.
For ESSENCE, a person with influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined as a person presenting with a chief complaint of Fever and Cough, OR, Fever and Sore Throat, OR, Influenza/ Flu.