Surveillance of ambulance dispatch data as a tool for early warning

Publié le 1 December 2006
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

Early detection of disease outbreaks is essential for authorities to initiate and conduct an appropriate response. A need for an outbreak detection that monitored data predating laboratory confirmations was identified, which prompted the establishment of a novel symptom surveillance system. The surveillance system monitors approximately 80% of the Danish population by applying an outbreak detection algorithm to ambulance dispatch data. The system also monitors both regional and national activity and has a built-in, switch-on capacity for implementing symptom surveillance reporting in case of an alert. In an evaluation with outbreak scenarios it was found that decreasing the outbreak detection sensitivity from a prediction limit of 95% considerably diminished the number of false alerts. The system was able to detect an increased activity of influenza-like illness in December 2003 in a timely fashion. The system has now been implemented in the national disease surveillance programme. (R.A.)

Auteur : Bork KH, Klein BM, Molbak K, Trautner S, Pedersen UB, Heegaard E
Eurosurveillance. European communicable disease quarterly, 2006, vol. 11, n°. 10-12, p. 229-33