Emergency Department Visit Data for Rapid Detection and Monitoring of Norovirus Activity, United States
Published Date:Aug 2013
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 19(8):1214-1221.
Electronic Health Records
Emergency Service, Hospital
Description:Noroviruses are the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the United States, but timely measures of disease are lacking. BioSense, a national-level electronic surveillance system, assigns data on chief complaints (patient symptoms) collected during emergency department (ED) visits to 78 subsyndromes in near real-time. In a series of linear regression models, BioSense visits mapped by chief complaints of diarrhea and nausea/vomiting subsyndromes as a monthly proportion of all visits correlated strongly with reported norovirus outbreaks from 6 states during 2007-2010. Higher correlations were seen for diarrhea (R = 0.828-0.926) than for nausea/vomiting (R = 0.729-0.866) across multiple age groups. Diarrhea ED visit proportions exhibited winter seasonality attributable to norovirus; rotavirus contributed substantially for children <5 years of age. Diarrhea ED visit data estimated the onset, peak, and end of norovirus season within 4 weeks of observed dates and could be reliable, timely indicators of norovirus activity.
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