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About the Norwegian Syndromic Surveillance System

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The Norwegian Syndromic Surveillance System (NorSySS) monitors how many infectious diseases are reported during consultations with general practitioners (GPs) and out-of-hours primary care facilities.

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The aim of NorSySS is to identify infectious disease outbreaks as early as possible in order to implement infection control measures.

NorSySS provides the number of both telephone and face to face consultations at the GPs and out-of-hours primary care facilities within a given period. NorSySS shows trends and possible disease outbreaks that are causing more people to consult their GP. The diagnosis is based on the clinical symptoms of the patient and is not usually confirmed by laboratory tests. 

Influenza, upper respiratory infections and gastrointestinal infections

NorSySS was established in 2012 and is based at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The system has been used for influenza surveillance in Norway since 2014.  In 2017, syndromic surveillance of upper respiratory infections and gastrointestinal infections was established based on NorSySS diagnoses. 

Trends, not exact numbers of patients

NorSySS will not give the exact number of infected people since some people will contact their GP several times with the same diagnosis and others may not consult their GP at all. However, the statistics will give the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and each municipality’s GPs information about changes in disease occurrence so necessary measures can be implemented.

The pilot project “NorSySS to municipality GPs” will be implemented in 2017. The purpose of this project is to give GPs the necessary information for infectious disease control in the municipalities.

Data from the Norwegian Directorate of Health

NorSySS receives data from the KUHR-system based at the Norwegian Directorate of Health. KUHR governs the control and payment of health reimbursements and is the system in which GPs deliver data about consultations in order to claim reimbursement from the government. The data is made anonymous by the Norwegian Directorate of Health before it is sent to NorSySS.

NorSySS receives data about the patient’s age group, gender and the municipality of residence, the municipality where the consultation was performed, date and diagnosis code in the International Classification of Primary Care system (ICPC-2).

80 diagnoses

NorSySS includes approximately 80 diagnosis codes which all are symptoms of infectious diseases. The total number of consultations is also included in the NorSySS dataset so it is possible to calculate the proportion with a specific diagnosis code compared to the total number of consultations in a given period or geographical area.