Investigating a Syndromic Surveillance Signal with Complimentary Data Systems

Hilary B. Parton, Robert Mathes, Jasmine Abdelnabi, Lisa Alleyne, Andrea Econome, Robert Fitzhenry, Kristen Forney, Megan Halbrook, Stephanie Ngai, Don Weiss


In early June, the New York City syndromic surveillance system detected five signals in sales of over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications. To determine if this increase reflected a concerning cluster of diarrheal illness, we examined multiple communicable disease surveillance data systems. After further investigation of syndromic and other systems, we determined that findings possibly reflected sales promotions but did not suggest increased diarrheal illness in NYC.

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