The ALERT Algorithm: How to Simply Define a Period of Elevated Disease Incidence

Description: 

Despite the number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from influenza each year, developing the ability to predict the timing of these outbreaks has remained elusive. Public health practitioners have lacked a reliable, easy-to-implement method for predicting the onset of a period of elevated influenza incidence in a community. We (a team of statisticians, epidemiologists, and clinicians) have developed a model to help public health practitioners develop simple, adaptable, data-driven rules to define a period of increased disease incidence in a given location. We call this method the Above Local Elevated Respiratory illness Threshold (ALERT) algorithm. The ALERT algorithm is a simple method that defines a period of elevated disease incidence in a community or hospital that systematically collects surveillance data on a particular disease.

Objective

Our objective was to develop a simple, easy-to-use algorithm to predict the onset of a period of elevated influenza incidence in a community using surveillance data.

Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
2013
Event/Publication Date: 
September, 2013

May 02, 2019

Contact Us

National Syndromic
Surveillance Program

Email:nssp@cdc.gov

The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

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