New York City syndromic surveillance systems.

Richard Heffernan, F. Mostashari, D. Das, M. Besculides, C. Rodriguez, J. Greenko, L. Steiner-Sichel, S. Balter, A. Karpati, P. Thomas, M. Phillips, J. Ackelsberg, E. Lee, J. Leng, J. Hartman, K. Metzger, R. Rosselli, D. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


New York City's first syndromic surveillance systems were established in 1995 to detect outbreaks of waterborne illness. In 1998, daily monitoring of ambulance dispatch calls for influenza-like illness began. After the 2001 World Trade Center attacks, concern about biologic terrorism led to the development of surveillance systems to track chief complaints of patients reporting to emergency departments, over-the-counter and prescription pharmacy sales, and worker absenteeism. These systems have proved useful for detecting substantial citywide increases in common viral illnesses (e.g., influenza, norovirus, and rotavirus). However, the systems have not detected more contained outbreaks earlier than traditional surveillance. Future plans include monitoring school health and outpatient clinic visits, augmenting laboratory testing to confirm syndromic signals, and conducting evaluation studies to identify which of these systems will be continued for the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Volume53 Suppl
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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