BioSense Data in Action
BioSense 2.0 is the only public health surveillance system with the flexibility to monitor for all hazards and health outcomes. It is the only system that helps state and local health departments and CDC quickly share information with each other across city, county, or state borders. Examples of BioSense data used for enhanced surveillance and situation awareness include:
2012 Dengue Detection Project in Florida and Hawaii
Data from BioSense was used to enhance surveillance for dengue by identifying individuals exhibiting dengue-like symptoms (fever and rash) at the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and referring these for further investigation by local health officials in Florida and Hawaii and the CDC Dengue Branch.
2011 U.S. Heat Wave
Data collected by BioSense between May and August 2011 were used to monitor levels of heat-related illness during this period. Data were shared with state health departments in parts of the country most affected by the heat wave so they could implement preventative and responsive protocols.
2011 Japanese Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima
The BioSense Program monitored healthcare activity in 20 Department of Defense facilities in Japan using cluster detection methods to identify syndromes associated with injuries and possible radiation exposure. BioSense analysts also searched for specific ICD-9-CM codes associated with radiation exposure. The data demonstrated that American troops and family members showed no increase in radiation sickness or injuries during and after this event.
2010 Gulf Oil Spill
The BioSense Program worked with state and local jurisdictions in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, the VA and DoD to monitor 21 specific syndromes and several mental health conditions, from 86 coastal healthcare facilities. BioSense produced daily situation awareness reports for state and local responders in affected areas which allowed them to assure Gulf Coast residents that the immediate health impact from the oil spill was limited.
2009-2010 H1N1 Flu Pandemic
From the beginning of the H1N1 Pandemic in April 2009, BioSense data from emergency departments, laboratories, and pharmacies were used by the CDC Emergency Operations Center and CDC’s Influenza Division during the H1N1 pandemic to make decisions about immunization recommendations, school and public building closures, and other steps in the response.
BioSense is currently the only source of data that can assess severity of illness in emergency rooms as demonstrated in the H1N1 pandemic.