Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progress In Infectious Disease Surveillance But Gaps Remain, Report Says

Date:
July 18, 2007
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Although considerable progress has been made in global infectious disease surveillance, few scientists are optimistic that an effective early warning system is in place, and many gaps remain, according to researchers at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. A paper in the July/August issue of Health Affairs, calls for increasing resources for improved coordination and sharing of information, and additional research to develop the most rigorous triggers for action.

The key to control any pandemic is early identification and rapid response. Although considerable progress has been made in global infectious disease surveillance, few scientists are optimistic that an effective early warning system is in place, and many gaps remain, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Related Articles


A paper entitled "Global Infectious Disease Surveillance and Health Intelligence," in the July/August issue of Health Affairs, calls for increasing resources for improved coordination and sharing of information, and additional research to develop the most rigorous triggers for action.

Current concerns about the spread of infectious diseases, especially unexpected, emerging infections, have renewed focus on the critical importance of global early warning and rapid response.

"The development of effective, interconnected systems of infectious disease surveillance is essential to our survival," said Stephen S. Morse, PhD, associate professor of clinical Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School, and the paper's author. "Fortunately, while the increasing availability of communications and information technologies worldwide does offer new opportunities for reporting even in low-capacity settings, resource constraints remain the missing elements for much of the world."

These information technologies include the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED), a scientist-to-scientist network connecting more than 30,000 subscribers in 155 countries, and the World Health Organization's Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN).

According to Dr. Morse, it is likely that the emergence of "novel" infections such as SARS, H5NI influenza and HIV/AIDS will continue and possibly even increase in the future, making early warning increasingly critical. "Unfortunately the outlook for global surveillance capabilities is variable in most of the world and varies from weak to virtually nonexistent."

He attributes the limited global capabilities to a combination of factors including health's low priority on government agendas and the delayed reporting of disease information. "Governments are often reluctant to report disease information for fear of political embarrassment, economic repercussions, or concern that it may make the government look ineffectual," noted Dr. Morse. He also suggests that infectious disease activities may fall victim to overall competition for limited public health resources.

Despite some progress many more improvements are needed, believes Dr. Morse. He outlines the following recommendations:

  • Coordinating reporting systems worldwide to ensure compatible standards for aggregating and sharing data. The new WHO International Health regulations may provide an opportunity to develop a consistent worldwide system;
  • Encourage improvements by providing additional resources;
  • Further encourage clinicians and health officials to report by providing useful feedback;
  • Train local people to recognize and report outbreaks where clinicians are in short supply; and
  • Educate policymakers to consider disease surveillance a priority.

The full paper is published in Volume 26, Number 4 of Health Affairs. The research was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Progress In Infectious Disease Surveillance But Gaps Remain, Report Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070718001839.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2007, July 18). Progress In Infectious Disease Surveillance But Gaps Remain, Report Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070718001839.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Progress In Infectious Disease Surveillance But Gaps Remain, Report Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070718001839.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming parents to identical triplets _ a multiple birth a doctor calls rare. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins