In response to extreme temperatures, the Enhanced Surveillance Team within the Office of Epidemiology, Division of Surveillance and Investigation conducts surveillance for heat-related and winter weather-related illness and injury using a syndromic surveillance system known as ESSENCE. 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 or entered by the patient during self check-in. The discharge diagnosis is a coded field that uses standardized values outlined by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 9th and 10th Revision or SNOMED Clinical Terms (CT) 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).
Winter Weather-Related Surveillance
Summer 2018 Heat-Related Illness Surveillance
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.