Using an Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance System to Assess the Impact of Cyclone Bejisa, Reunion Island

Pascal Vilain, Frédéric Pagès, Katia Mougin-Damour, Xavier Combes, Pierre-Jean Marianne Dit Cassou, Yves Jacques Antoine, Laurent Filleul


On January 2, 2014 the cyclone Bejisa struck Reunion Island. In anticipation, an epidemiological surveillance was set up in order to assess the impact in the aftermath of the cyclone. Short-term health effects were assessed using a syndromic surveillance system based on data of EDs and EMS. A peak of calls to the EMS was observed the day of the cyclone and an increase of ED visits over the next two days. At the same time, a significant increase of visits for trauma, burns, conjunctivitis was detected. The reactivity and the flexibility of the syndromic surveillance system allowed to rapidly assess the health impact of the cyclone.

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