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author:("Lopez, lionel")
1.  Response to H1N1 in a U.S.-Mexico Border Community 
Public health experts from a county health department and a school of public health in Texas collaborated to establish a simple, functional surveillance system to monitor 2009 H1N1 influenza virus as it crossed from Mexico into a Texas border community. They used GIS mapping and reports of school and daycare absences to guide their response to the outbreak.
Public health experts from a county health department and a school of public health collaborated to establish a simple, functional surveillance system to monitor swine-origin influenza virus as it crossed from Mexico into a Texas border community during the 2009 pandemic. The draft national and state preparedness plans were found to be cumbersome at the local level, so a simple, more practical real-time surveillance and response system was developed, in part by modifying these documents, and immediately implemented. Daily data analyses, including geographical information system mapping of cases and reports of school and daycare absences, were used for outbreak management. Aggregate reports of influenzalike illness and primary school absences were accurate in predicting influenza activity and were practical for use in local tracking, making decisions, and targeting interventions. These simple methods should be considered for local implementation and for integration into national recommendations for epidemic preparedness and response.
doi:10.1089/bsp.2010.0014
PMCID: PMC2982707  PMID: 20825334
2.  Utilizing spatiotemporal analysis of influenza-like illness and rapid tests to focus swine-origin influenza virus intervention 
Health & place  2010;16(6):1230-1239.
In the spring of 2009, a novel strain of H1N1 swine-origin influenza A virus (S-OIV) emerged in Mexico and the United States, and soon after was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This work examined the ability of real-time reports of influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms and rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) to approximate the spatiotemporal distribution of PCR-confirmed S-OIV cases for the purposes of focusing local intervention efforts. Cluster and age-adjusted relative risk patterns of ILI, RIDT and S-OIV were assessed at a fine spatial scale at different time and space extents within Cameron County, Texas on the U.S.-Mexico border. Space-time patterns of ILI and RIDT were found to effectively characterize the areas with highest geographical risk of S-OIV within the first two weeks of the outbreak. Based on these results, ILI and/or RIDT may prove to be acceptable indicators of the location of S-OIV hotspots. Given that S-OIV data is often difficult to obtain real-time during an outbreak, these findings may be of use to public health officials targeting prevention and response efforts during future flu outbreaks.
doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.08.010
PMCID: PMC2998411  PMID: 20810301
cluster; H1N1; swine flu; ILI; RIDT; GIS

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