Data Availability

Q: What years of data are available?

A: NORS Dashboard includes data

  • from 1998 through the most recent year of available data* for foodborne outbreaks, and
  • from 2009 through the most recent year of available data* for outbreaks associated with other modes of transmission.

Get more information on NORS data collection >>

* CDC typically updates NORS Dashboard once a year. This updating schedule allows CDC to review NORS reports and work with local, state, and territorial health departments to fill in missing information and to correct possible errors. However, this process means the most current year(s) of data may not be available through NORS Dashboard. The years of data available may vary by mode of transmission.

Q: Have changes in surveillance for outbreaks affected data displayed in NORS Dashboard?

A: Yes. The original NORS reporting forms from 2009 were based on forms used for surveillance of foodborne and waterborne disease outbreaks, and included additional questions for other modes of transmission. NORS forms have been updated over time as outbreak surveillance has changed.

Please contact if you have questions about how variables might have changed over time.

Q: Can data in NORS Dashboard change or differ from published reports?

A: Data in NORS Dashboard come from NORS. NORS outbreak reports can be entered and edited at any time, even months or years after an outbreak occurs. Therefore, data in NORS Dashboard may differ from data previously published.

Q: Can I download NORS Dashboard data?

A: Yes. Click on the download links at the bottom of the page to download all NORS Dashboard data or only data related to your current search.

Downloaded data include additional fields for food, water, and animal-specific variables. These variables may be blank if the information, such as a specific setting, etiology, food vehicle, water source, or animal vehicle, was not identified or entered into NORS.

Q: What does the “Transfer Date” information within the downloaded data mean?

A: NORS is a dynamic reporting system, in which reporting agencies (local, state, and territorial health departments, and CDC) may edit outbreak reports at any time, even months or years after reporting an outbreak. Therefore, NORS Dashboard data are subject to change.

The date that the data in NORS Dashboard were last updated from NORS is recorded in the “Transfer Date” field in the downloaded file and in text on the web page. The transfer date may vary by type of outbreak, such as foodborne or waterborne.

Q: May I obtain more information than is included in NORS Dashboard for an in-depth analysis?

A: Yes. The data obtained from NORS Dashboard are a subset of all available data fields. Therefore, NORS Dashboard data alone may not completely represent the findings of all reported outbreak investigations.

If you have questions about NORS Dashboard data or would like to request a more detailed dataset, contact

Get more information on using NORS data >>