In response to elevated temperatures during the summer, the Enhanced Surveillance Team within the Office of Epidemiology, Division of Surveillance and Investigation conducts surveillance for heat-related illness using ESSENCE. The event summaries below outline trends in emergency department and urgent care center visits related to heat exposure, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and heat cramps in the state of Virginia, and include a link to the published report.
Chief complaints and discharge diagnoses of emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) visits are analyzed by VDH to identify and monitor issues of public health concern across Virginia. The chief complaint is a free-text field that captures the patient’s primary reason for seeking medical care as interpreted by the ED registration staff. The discharge diagnosis is a coded field that uses standardized values outlined by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 9th and 10th Revision code sets.
Readers are strongly encouraged to review syndromic surveillance data limitations when interpreting these reports. ED and UCC visits for heat-related illness were identified based on the Heat-Related Illness Syndrome Query definition published by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).
Summer 2017 Heat-Related Illness Surveillance
Between April 1 to September 1, 2017, the Enhanced Surveillance team identified and monitored four heat-related illness events.
This figure shows the number of ED and UCC visits for heat-related illness during this time period. The four heat-related illness events occurred on June 12-13, July 12-13, July 20-22,and August 16-18. Individual summary reports for these events can be found below.