Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Other infections

Construction of syndromic surveillance using a web-based daily questionnaire for health and its application at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit meeting

H. SUGIURAa1 c1, Y. OHKUSAa2, M. AKAHANEa1, T. SUGAHARAa2, N. OKABEa2 and T. IMAMURAa1

a1 Department of Public Health, Health Management and Policy, Nara Medical University School of Medicine, Nara, Japan

a2 National Institute of Infectious Disease, Infectious Disease Surveillance Center, Tokyo, Japan

SUMMARY

We constructed a syndromic surveillance system to collect directly information on daily health conditions directly from local residents via the internet [web-based daily questionnaire for health surveillance system (WDQH SS)]. This paper considers the feasibility of the WDQH SS and its ability to detect epidemics. A verification study revealed that our system was an effective surveillance system. We then applied an improved WDQH SS as a measure against public health concerns at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit meeting in 2008. While in operation at the Summit, our system reported a fever alert that was consistent with a herpangina epidemic. The highly mobile WDQH SS described in this study has three main advantages: the earlier detection of epidemics, compared to other surveillance systems; the ability to collect data even on weekends and holidays; and a rapid system set-up that can be completed within 3 days.

(Accepted November 30 2009)

(Online publication January 13 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: H. Sugiura, M.D., Department of Public Health, Health Management and Policy, Nara Medical University School of Medicine, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara, Nara 634-8521, Japan. (Email: tomomarie@smn.enjoy.ne.jp)

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