Using GI Syndrome Data as an Early Warning Tool for Norovirus Outbreak Activity

Erin E. Austin, Jun Yang, Tim Powell


Norovirus (NV) infection results in considerable morbidity each year in the United States. The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) syndrome data and reported NV outbreaks in Virginia was assessed from May 2008- May 2012 with the purpose of developing an early warning tool for NV outbreak activity. GI syndrome visits were highly correlated with NV outbreaks and an increase in GI syndrome visits occurred on average 1.25 weeks prior to the initiation of high NV outbreak activity. The use of syndromic surveillance data as an early warning indicator of NV outbreak activity shows promise as a trigger for public health action.

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