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Notice to Readers: Change in Source for Arboviral Disease Data Reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

Beginning July 2, 2004 (representing data reported through week 25), the arboviral disease surveillance data reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) and displayed in MMWR Tables I and II (1) will be compiled solely from data reported to CDC's ArboNET system (2) and no longer will reflect data reported to CDC via the National Electronic Telecommunications System for Surveillance (NETSS) (3). This change applies to all human cases of nationally notifiable arboviral meningitis or encephalitis meeting the national surveillance case definition for illness caused by any of the following six arboviruses or arbovirus groups: California serogroup, eastern equine encephalitis, Powassan, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile, and western equine encephalitis (4). The change also will apply to all yellow fever cases (5). Timely reporting of domestic yellow fever cases is required by international health regulations, which stipulate that the United States must report all cases of suspected and confirmed yellow fever to the World Health Organization within 24 hours. This change also will apply to finalized arboviral disease surveillance data collected in 2003 or later and published in the MMWR Summary of Notifiable Diseases---United States.

Since 2000, state health departments have reported human and animal West Nile virus surveillance data to ArboNET (2,6--8) and human arboviral disease data to NETSS. This duplicate reporting became more labor intensive to state health departments and CDC as the incidence of West Nile virus disease increased and more staff time was devoted to reconciling discrepancies in data reported to the two systems.

In 2003, ArboNET was enhanced to enable reporting of the other five nationally notifiable domestic arboviral diseases, and the 2004 version will accept case reports of yellow fever, which is rare in the United States. ArboNET uses the data and transmission standards defined by the Public Health Information Network (9) and will be incorporated as a module into the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) (10). NEDSS provides a standards-based approach to disease surveillance across multiple surveillance systems and, when fully implemented, will connect public health surveillance to the clinical information infrastructure. State health departments can report data to ArboNET via a web-based application, stand-alone software, or direct data messaging. Direct data messaging to ArboNET from states' surveillance information systems is the preferred mechanism. Additional information is available from Richard Hopkins, telephone 404-498-6207, e-mail rhopkins@cdc.gov; or Roy Campbell, telephone 970-221-6459, e-mail glcampbell@cdc.gov.

References

  1. CDC. Table 1: Summary of provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, cumulative, week ending May 15, 2004 (19th week) and Table II: Provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, weeks ending May 15, 2004 and May 10, 2003 (19th week). MMWR 2004;53:416--24.
  2. O'Leary DR, Marfin AA, Montgomery SP, et al. The epidemic of West Nile virus in the United States, 2002. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Dis 2004;4:61--9.
  3. Koo D, Wetterhall SF. History and current status of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. J Public Health Manag Pract 1996;2:4--10.
  4. CDC. Encephalitis or meningitis, arboviral (includes California serogroup, eastern equine, St. Louis, western equine, West Nile, Powassan) 2001 case definition. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/epo/dphsi/casedef/encephalitiscurrent.htm.
  5. CDC. Yellow fever 2001 case definition. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/epo/dphsi/casedef/yellow_fever_current.htm.
  6. Marfin AA, Petersen LR, Eidson M, et al. Widespread West Nile virus activity, eastern United States, 2000. Emerg Infect Dis 2001;7:730--5.
  7. CDC. West Nile virus activity---United States, 2001. MMWR 2002;51:497--501.
  8. CDC. West Nile virus activity---United States, November 20--25, 2003. MMWR 2003;52:1160.
  9. CDC. Public Health Information Network. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/phin/index.htm.
  10. National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Working Group. National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS): a standards-based approach to connect public health and clinical medicine. J Public Health Manag Pract 2001;7:43--50.

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