Publication

A Guide for Syndromic Surveillance for Heat-Related Health Outcomes in North America

June 22, 2017 48 pages

A Guide for Syndromic Surveillance for Heat-Related Health Outcomes in North America

June 22, 2017 48 pages

Description

# 46 in Top Publications

As part of a project of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, this Guide outlines the steps required to create or enhance a syndromic surveillance system to monitor extreme heat events, and highlights the experiences of three participating pilot communities from Canada, Mexico and United States. A successful syndromic surveillance system uses pre-diagnostic data sources to monitor for early signs of health effects in order to enable early public health response.

The five key steps to create (or enhance) a syndromic surveillance system to monitor extreme heat events are: (1) data source identification (including assessment of data suitability, availability, timeliness, and quality); (2) design of system architecture; (3) defining a syndrome to capture heat-related illnesses; (4) defining alerting rules for the system; and (5) integrating health outcomes with weather information (e.g., temperature). The city of Hermosillo, Mexico, built a syndromic surveillance system from the ground up to enable the city’s public health surveillance to include heat-related illnesses; the state of Michigan, United States, improved its existing heat syndrome with additional keywords and improved statistical methods for determining alerting protocols; the city of Ottawa, Canada, improved its current syndromic surveillance for heat-related illnesses by adding near–real-time data from a nurse advice telephone service and displaying health outcomes with meteorological data on a map-based dashboard. The experiences of the pilot communities represent numerous lessons to be learned by communities with varied resources and climates as they develop their syndromic surveillance capacity.

Additional Information

Document Type: Project publication
Theme: Climate Change
Languages:

Download