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August 6, 2003

Accuracy of a Local Surveillance System for Early Detection of Emerging Infectious Disease

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(5):596-598. doi:10.1001/jama.290.5.596

To the Editor: Syndromic surveillance, based on analysis of clinical or administrative data to detect patterns consistent with emerging diseases, could allow for early recognition of attacks with biological or chemical weapons. Since the 2001 terror attacks, many institutions, encouraged by public health authorities and accreditation agencies, have sought to develop their own surveillance systems. However, the sensitivity and specificity of such single-institution systems have not been validated.

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