PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon Health Authority announced a new dashboard to track emergency room visits for winter hazards.
The Oregon ESSENCE Winter Hazard Report includes interactive data on winter-related illnesses and injuries, to help health officials monitor emergency visits before, during, and after a public health emergency.
OHA says the data is gathered from the Oregon Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemic, or ESSENCE.
The dashboard will provide daily reports on Oregon emergency departments and urgent care center visits within four injury and illness categories:
- Asthma-like illnesses caused by poor air quality from wood stove smoke and air inversions
- Cold weather-related illnesses, including hypothermia and frostbite
- Carbon monoxide exposure from portable gas-powered generators used indoors and defective furnaces
- Falls from slippery surfaces like icy or snowy sidewalks and driveways
“ESSENCE data help OHA and its local public health and community partners understand the health effects of winter hazards, including extreme weather and other emergencies,” said Dr. Tom Jeanne, deputy state health officer and epidemiologist at OHA. “These data show us what causes people to seek emergency medical care during the winter, which then drives our messaging and resources.”
The winter-related data goes back to reports from 2018-2019 and will be updated weekly through winter.
The ESSENCE Winter Hazard Report comes after OHA launched a summer-related hazard dashboard in 2023 to track heat-related illnesses and wildfire smoke exposure.