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Overview

Detail of the Notional Scheme.

Learn more about the current state of global disease surveillance and the potential pitfalls with these interactive figures

  – Notional Scheme
  – Disease Surveillance Programs
  – The Role of Diagnostics


Full Report: Challenges to Global Surveillance and Response to Infectious Disease Outbreaks of International Importance. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. 2007;5(3). Hitchcock P, Chamberlain A,
Van Wagoner M, Inglesby TV, O'Toole T.
  

The emergence of new infectious diseases and the resurgence of diseases previously controlled by vaccination and treatment are creating unprecedented public health challenges. The gamut of recent disease outbreaks—Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, Ebola viral hemorrhagic fever, West Nile viral encephalitis, intentional anthrax, and H5N1 viral infections in humans—has heightened concerns about global health security and global economic stability.

Rapid and effective response to a confirmed infectious disease outbreak is a complex, multi-step process. This web-based analysis of Global Disease Surveillance and Response has been created to facilitate an understanding of that process. Included in the analysis are a notional scheme of global surveillance and response to infectious disease outbreaks, and 14 examples of international surveillance and response programs. Combined, these illustrate how, in both an ideal and the real world, infectious disease outbreaks of public health significance are detected and contained. Finally, we analyzed the potential effect that an advance, such as rapid diagnostic tests, might have on surveillance and response efforts. This example demonstrates the utility of this framework for evaluating other advances such as improved information technologies, or new vaccines and therapeutics.

Notable practices and achievements of the programs are cited; these may be useful when establishing new programs or redesigning existing ones. Insufficiencies are identified in four critical areas: health infrastructure; scientific methods and concepts of operation; essential human, technical, and financial resources; and international policies. These insufficiencies challenge global surveillance of and response to infectious disease outbreaks of international importance. This analysis is intended to help policymakers appreciate the complexity of the problem and assess the likely impact and cost-effectiveness of proposed solutions.
 


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