Internet-Based Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance Among Hurricane Katrina Evacuees in Georgia
Published Date:Sep 15 2008
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2008; 5(4).
The Internet has revolutionized the way public health surveillance is conducted. Georgia has used it for notifiable disease reporting, electronic outbreak management, and early event detection. We used it in our public health response to the 125,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees who came to Georgia.
We developed Internet-based surveillance forms for evacuation shelters and an Internet-based death registry. District epidemiologists, hospital-based physicians, and medical examiners/coroners electronically completed the forms. We analyzed these data and data from emergency departments used by the evacuees.
Shelter residents and patients who visited emergency departments reported primarily chronic diseases. Among 33 evacuee deaths, only 2 were from infectious diseases, and 1 was indirectly related to the hurricane.
The Internet was essential to collect health data from multiple locations, by many different people, and for multiple types of health encounters during Georgia's Hurricane Katrina public health response.
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