Active, Prospective Surveillance for
Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade Counties
The purpose of this surveillance system is to identify suspected cases of
inhalational anthrax through hospital surveillance in the target counties.
The infection control practitioner (ICP) at each hospital will serve as the
key contact person for that hospital.
The in-hospital focus for anthrax surveillance will be the Intensive care
1. Any time the hospital staff suspects a patient of being infected with
anthrax, the hospital ICP will be notified. In turn, the ICP will notify the
county health department. "suspected of being infected" includes:
Shortness of breath and fever
Laboratory findings of
gram-positive bacilli in a person without another known etiology, such as
Widening of the mediastinum is
included if radiographic evidence is available
2. At least once each day, a designated county health department
representative will be in contact with the infection control practitioner (ICP)
of each hospital in the county to determine if any patients have been admitted
to any hospital ICU who meet the above criteria.
The county health department will maintain a log of those persons identified
in 1.and 2. and will also document days no such cases are found.
If the patient has appropriate symptoms but no cultures have been drawn, the
county health department representative should record the patients name and
request that blood cultures be done.
If a patient has the above symptoms AND positive laboratory findings, the
county health department representative should:
the isolate be sent to the Miami Branch Lab for testing.
screening questionnaire to abstract information from the patients
Katz, regional epidemiologist (cell phone 305-778-5421, beeper
1-877-636-7176) and arrange to fax her the screening questionnaire. She
will contact appropriate persons to assist with consultation and
For all patients identified through the surveillance system, the county
health department will monitor follow-up to ensure that laboratory tests are
This enhanced surveillance will continue through October 31.