The AEGISS (Ascertainment and Enhancement of Gastro-Enteric Surveillance System) statistical system was the result of a collaboration between Lancaster University and the Southampton Public Health Laboratory to speed up detection of localised increases in the number of people reporting gastro-intestinal illnesses, including infectious diarrhoea and vomiting.

AEGISS applied statistical methods to data about phone calls made to NHS Direct for advice about these illnesses. From daily reports of these phone calls, including where and when they were made, AEGISS worked out the usual pattern of calls and how these varied across the area covered, picking out hotspots where the number of calls was higher than usual.

Information on the pattern of calls received was then fed into maps on a dedicated web-site to be used by Health Protection professionals to identify outbreaks. Updated daily these maps showed the risk of these illnesses across the area. To see an example of these maps click on:

Risk maps updated daily allow real-time surveillance systems like AEGISS to speed up the detection of outbreaks of infection and allow action to be taken sooner to bring outbreaks under control.

A new model, AEGISS2 will be developed for this study. The goals for AEGISS2 are to:

  • Update the AEGISS statistical model to respond to new real-time data streams
  • Extend the geographical coverage of the system
  • Link this system to parallel surveillance of veterinary infections including SAVSNET