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Setting up a specific surveillance system of community health during mass gatherings
  1. T Hanslik,
  2. P Y Boelle,
  3. A Flahault
  1. Réseau Sentinelles, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unit 444, Université Paris 6, Paris, France (WHO Collaborating Center for Electronic Disease Surveillance)
  1. Dr Hanslik, INSERM Unité 444, 27 rue Chaligny, 75571 Paris Cedex 12, France (thomas.hanslik{at}

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During mass gatherings such as those that occur during international fairs or sporting events, there are no recognised standards for providing health surveillance of the general community (in contrast with the participant community). Data must be collected continuously as produced, so as to provide immediate information and permit prompt detection of epidemics. To monitor the effects of the 1998 World Football Cup (WFC) on the health of the general population of the host country, we set up a nationwide automated sentinel disease surveillance system. Its results have been published in detail elsewhere.1 We describe here the implementation of the general practitioners' (GPs) sentinel system required by this surveillance system.


Surveillance lasted two months (June and July 1998). Our protocol required that physicians communicate daily with the host computer, via an internet web site or a videotext terminal. The single page format included the total daily number of data for 11 items relating to the level of community medical activity, and to communicable, societal and environmental diseases.2 3

GPs were recruited …

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  • Funding: this work was partly funded by a joint grant, no 9808100, from INSERM and Synthelabo Laboratories.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.