Application of Syndromic Surveillance to Describe Gunshot-related Injuries in Houston

Ryan M. Arnold, Wesley McNeely, Kasimu Muhetaer, Biru Yang, Raouf R. Arafat


Firearm-related injuries pose a substantial public health risk in the United States, and traditional means of studying this issue rely primarily on retrospective analyses. Syndromic surveillance, collected in over 30 Houston area emergency departments, is well suited to characterize and analyze gunshot injuries in the area in near real-time. Over the past two years, more than 900 gunshot-related injury visits were identified using this method, and ArcGIS effectively identified incident densities in ZIP codes throughout Houston. Most patients were males (86.3%), between the ages of 18 and 34 (64.7%).

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *