Public Health Surveillance for the Great American Solar Eclipse in Oregon


The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 provided a rare opportunity to view a complete solar eclipse on the American mainland. Much of Oregon was in the path of totality and forecasted to have clear skies. Ahead of the event, OPHD aggregated a list of 107 known gatherings in mostly rural areas across the state, some with estimated attendance of up to 30,000 attendees. Temporary food vendors and a range of sanitation solutions (including open latrines) were planned. International travelers were expected, along with large numbers of visitors traveling by car on the day of the eclipse. The potential for multiple simultaneous mass gatherings across the state prompted OPHD to activate an incident management team (IMT) and to create a Health Intelligence Section to design a mass gathering surveillance strategy. Statewide syndromic surveillance (Oregon ESSENCE) has been used to monitor previous mass gatherings (1) and captures statewide emergency department (ED), urgent care, Oregon Poison Center, and reportable disease data.


Develop a public health surveillance plan for the Oregon Public Health Division (OPHD) in anticipation of the expected influx of visitors for the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2018

January 25, 2018

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National Syndromic
Surveillance Program

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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