Rapid Measles Exposure Assessment in an Urban Emergency Department Using a Syndromic Surveillance System

Christopher Sikora, Kerri Fournier, Hussain Usman, Angela Jacobs, Bryan Wicentowich, James Talbot


The Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) Public Health unit was alerted to an individual with measles in the Emergency Department.  To find contacts, Public Health used a manual lookup of hospital records and piloted a time-based automated data query through the syndromic surveillance system, ARTSSN. The completeness and time needed, for both methods were compared. The ARTSSN patient list had 137 contacts compared to 108 from the manual method. Less time was needed for the ARTSSN list. This automated method is valuable in investigating geographic and time-defined Communicable Disease outbreaks as well as potential chemical or radiological exposures.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v6i1.5155

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org