Using Syndromic Surveillance to Rapidly Describe the Early Epidemiology of Flakka Use in Florida, June 2014 – August 2015

David Atrubin, Scott Bowden, Janet J. Hamilton


Flakka is a synthetic drug (class: cathinones) that been responsible for numerous emergency department visits and over 30 deaths in Florida over the last year. In August 2015, Florida Department of Health (FDOH) partner agencies requested flakka-related health data in an effort to better understand the epidemiology and context of this problem. ESSENCE-FL emergency department data and poison control calls were analyzed to describe the epidemiology of this emergent drug. Having near real-time surveillance systems capable of providing timely, relevant data is critical in quickly characterizing emerging public health issues and helping to prioritize available resources.

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