Pandemic Surveillance FAQ
Answers to questions posed at the May, 2006 pandemic plan preview meetings.
What will Minnesota do to coordinate with surveillance systems in other bordering counties, states, and nationally?
Influenza surveillance relies on a constellation of surveillance activities to monitor for
- critical or unusual case incidence;
- outbreaks in selected settings (e.g., schools and long-term care facilities);
- percent of patients presenting with influenza-like illness in selected sentinel clinics; and
- influenza-related deaths.
These systems will be maintained in the event of a pandemic. The national plan relies on maintaining state reporting of the level of influenza activity in the state (e.g., sporadic, regional, widespread), the sentinel reporting sites, and reporting of influenza-related deaths directly to CDC from selected cities nationwide.
Reporting critical or unusual case incidence to MDH is important to monitoring for novel viruses and for conducting case-based surveillance early in a pandemic. MDH plans to continue to monitor for critical, hospitalized cases by implementing a hospital-based reporting system to collect minimal case-specific data. Currently, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) is the best tool available for this purpose; however, other hospital data reporting systems are in development and may replace MIIC as the most feasible reporting mechanism.
During a pandemic, MDH influenza surveillance staff will analyze surveillance data continually, and update the MDH website at least daily, and perhaps more frequently early in the pandemic. Updates will include demographic and geographic data including state maps, as well as quick links to national data. Persons interested in being notified of any updates will have the opportunity to subscribe to an email notification system.MDH will also use existing communications tools including the health alert network (HAN) as well as audio and video teleconferencing.