Using ESSENCE to Track a Gastrointestinal Outbreak in a Homeless Shelter in Miami-Dade County, 2008


Although Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community Based Epidemics (ESSENCE) provides tools to detect a significant alert regarding an unusual public health event, combining that information with other surveillance data, such as 911 calls, school absenteeism and poison control records, has proved to be more sensitive in detecting an outbreak. On Monday, June 16, Florida Poison Information Network, which takes after-hours and weekend calls for Miami-Dade County Health Department (MDCHD), contacted the Office of Epidemiology and Disease Control about five homeless persons that visited the same hospital simultaneously with gastrointestinal symptoms on Saturday, June 14. Poison control staff asked MDCHD to investigate further to determine whether it was an outbreak.



To illustrate how MDCHD utilized ESSENCE in order to track a gastrointestinal outbreak in a homeless shelter.

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Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2008

July 30, 2018

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