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Value of syndromic surveillance within the Armed Forces for early warning during a dengue fever outbreak in French Guiana in 2006

DOI: 10.1186/1472-6947-8-29

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Military syndromic surveillance allows the surveillance of suspected dengue fever cases among the 3,000 armed forces personnel. Within the same population, clinical surveillance uses several definition criteria for dengue fever cases, depending on the epidemiological situation. Civilian laboratory surveillance allows the surveillance of biologically confirmed cases, within the 200,000 inhabitants.It was shown that syndromic surveillance detected the dengue fever outbreak several weeks before clinical surveillance, allowing quick and effective enhancement of vector control within the armed forces. Syndromic surveillance was also found to have detected the outbreak before civilian laboratory surveillance.Military syndromic surveillance allowed an early warning for this outbreak to be issued, enabling a quicker public health response by the armed forces. Civilian surveillance system has since introduced syndromic surveillance as part of its surveillance strategy. This should enable quicker public health responses in the future.One of the main objectives of health surveillance systems is to provide early warning of disease outbreaks, which allows for acceleration and optimization of a public health response. In the current context of international bioterrorism threats, early warning has become increasingly important, and many countries, including the Armed Forces based in French Guiana, have incorporated warning systems into their civilian and military surveillance systems [1,2].French Guiana is a French overseas department in South America where tropical diseases responsible for outbreaks exist, such as dengue fever. Dengue fever is a viral disease, caused by an arbovirus of the Flaviviridae family in the Flavivirus genus. There are four viral serotypes of this virus, designated DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. It is transmitted by a mosquito vector called Stegomyia aegypti (formerly Aedes aegypti). Dengue is the predominant arthropod borne viral disease affecting hu


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