The bioterrorism preparedness and response Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS)

J Urban Health. 2003 Jun;80(2 Suppl 1):i89-96. doi: 10.1007/pl00022319.


Data from public health surveillance systems can provide meaningful measures of population risks for disease, disability, and death. Analysis and evaluation of these surveillance data help public health practitioners react to important health events in a timely manner both locally and nationally. Aberration detection methods allow the rapid assessment of changes in frequencies and rates of different health outcomes and the characterization of unusual trends or clusters. The Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allows the analysis of public health surveillance data using available aberration detection methods. The primary purpose of EARS is to provide national, state, and local health departments with several alternative aberration detection methods. EARS helps assist local and state health officials to focus limited resources on appropriate activities during epidemiological investigations of important public health events. Finally, EARS allows end users to select validated aberration detection methods and modify sensitivity and specificity thresholds to values considered to be of public health importance by local and state health departments.

MeSH terms

  • Bioterrorism*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Disease Notification* / methods
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Public Health Informatics*
  • United States / epidemiology