Biosurveillance: Detecting, Tracking, and Mitigating the Effects of Natural Disease and Bioterrorism
Fricker, Ronald D. Jr.
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Biosurveillance is the regular collection, analysis, and interpretation of health and health-related data for indicators of diseases and other outbreaks by public health organizations. Motivated by the threat of bioterrorism, biosurveillance systems are being developed and implemented around the world. The goal of these systems has been expanded to include both early event detection and situational awareness, so that the focus is not simply on detection, but also on response and consequence management. Whether they are useful for detecting bioterrorism or not, there seems to be consensus that these biosurveillance systems are likely to be useful for detecting and responding to natural disease outbreaks such as seasonal and pandemic flu, and thus they have the potential to significantly advance and modernize the practice of public health surveillance.