NNDSS Supports the Mpox Response
The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) is supporting our nation’s response to the 2022 U.S. mpox outbreak. Along with our partners in state, local, and territorial public health departments and disease programs at CDC, our team is working to ensure data about cases of mpox across the nation are received, processed, and sent to the disease experts at CDC. These experts are using the information to track potential cases, respond to the outbreak, and improve national surveillance.
Here are some of the things NNDSS is doing behind the scenes to provide comprehensive, timely, and high-quality data for public health decision making:
- Leading efforts to secure and maintain required approvals to receive mpox case data from public health departments in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act.
- Partnering with the CDC mpox response to develop audience-appropriate messages to inform public health departments and partners, such as the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories, about the latest mpox surveillance resources
- developing content for NNDSS communication channels such as Case Surveillance News, eSHARE webinars, and e-mail distributions to surveillance leads in state and local public health agencies.
- leveraging existing relationships with health departments’ informatics and disease surveillance experts to further increase the reach of mpox case surveillance messages.
- Collaborating with CDC’s mpox response to onboard mpox case notification processes through NNDSS to the Data Collation and Integration for Public Health Event Response platform, also known as DCIPHER, for data augmentation and mpox-specific data collection.
Key successes include:
- Optimized how CDC data systems pull and process data from CDC’s mpox case surveillance databases, reducing daily processing time from nearly 1.5 hours to a little over 10 minutes.
- Worked with CDC’s mpox disease experts and CSTE to coordinate the implementation of a national surveillance case definition for mpox. A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used by public health to classify and count cases consistently across the country.
- Updated the Message Validation, Processing, and Provisioning System, or MVPS, to be able to receive daily mpox surveillance updates from state, local, and territorial public health departments. MVPS receives and processes the new data, sends these data to CDC disease experts and the CDC Emergency Operations Center for use in national mpox surveillance and the CDC mpox outbreak response, and publishes weekly and annual data on CDC WONDER and Data.CDC.gov.
- Developed a new mpox event code (11801) to help public health departments track and manage case data within their data systems and notify CDC of cases of mpox. Event codes are used by local, state, and federal surveillance information systems to help simplify storage and retrieval of information about cases of national notifiable or state reportable diseases or conditions.
In support of CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative, NNDSS will continue to look for ways to modernize our tools, technology, and strategies and to improve the quality and timeliness of surveillance data. Modernization of public health data and IT systems is central to the nation’s efforts to respond to the mpox outbreak—and to strengthen preparedness for future public health threats.