Situational Awareness for Unfolding Gastrointestinal Outbreaks Using Historical Data


The CDC defines a foodborne outbreak as two or more people getting the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink. These illnesses are often characterized as gastroenteritis until the causative agent is identified (bacterial or viral). Due to the globally interconnected food distribution system, local foodborne disease outbreaks often have global impacts. Therefore, the rapid detection of a gastroenteritis outbreak is of utmost importance for effective control. Situational awareness is important for early warning or detection of a disease outbreak, and tools that provide such information facilitate mitigation actions by civil/military health professionals. We have developed the Surveillance Window app (SWAP), a web based tool that can be used to help understand an unfolding outbreak. The app matches user input information to a library of historical outbreak information and provides context. This presentation will describe our analysis of global civilian and military gastrointestinal outbreaks and the adaptation of the SWAP to enhance situational awareness in the event of such outbreaks.


The objectives of this project are to identify properties that influence the progression of an outbreak, evaluate the ability of a property-based algorithm to differentiate between military and civilian outbreaks and different pathogens, and develop a decision support tool to enhance situational awareness during an unfolding outbreak.

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Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2015

September 08, 2017

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