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Detection of disease outbreaks by the use of oral manifestations

Torres-Urquidy, MH and Wallstrom, G and Schleyer, TKL (2009) Detection of disease outbreaks by the use of oral manifestations. Journal of Dental Research, 88 (1). 89 - 94. ISSN 0022-0345

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Oral manifestations of diseases caused by bioterrorist agents could be a potential data source for biosurveillance. This study had the objectives of determining the oral manifestations of diseases caused by bioterrorist agents, measuring the prevalence of these manifestations in emergency department reports, and constructing and evaluating a detection algorithm based on them. We developed a software application to detect oral manifestations in free text and identified positive reports over three years of data. The normal frequency in reports for oral manifestations related to anthrax (including buccal ulcers-sore throat) was 7.46%. The frequency for tularemia was 6.91%. For botulism and smallpox, the frequencies were 0.55% and 0.23%. We simulated outbreaks for these bioterrorism diseases and evaluated the performance of our system. The detection algorithm performed better for smallpox and botulism than for anthrax and tularemia. We found that oral manifestations can be a valuable tool for biosurveillance.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Torres-Urquidy, MH
Wallstrom, G
Schleyer, TKLtitus@pitt.eduTITUS0000-0003-1829-971X
Date: 10 August 2009
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Dental Research
Volume: 88
Number: 1
Page Range: 89 - 94
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1177/0022034508327546
Schools and Programs: School of Dental Medicine > Dental Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0022-0345
MeSH Headings: Algorithms; Anthrax--epidemiology; Bioterrorism--statistics & numerical data; Botulism--epidemiology; Disease Outbreaks--classification; Early Diagnosis; Emergency Medical Services--statistics & numerical data; Exanthema--epidemiology; Humans; Models, Biological; Mouth Diseases--epidemiology; Oral Ulcer--epidemiology; Pennsylvania--epidemiology; Pharyngitis--epidemiology; Population Surveillance; Prevalence; Sensitivity and Specificity; Smallpox--epidemiology; Software Design; Software Validation; Tonsillitis--epidemiology; Tularemia--epidemiology; Xerostomia--epidemiology
Other ID: NLM PMC3144048
PubMed Central ID: PMC3144048
PubMed ID: 19131324
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2012 14:34
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2021 21:14


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