Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Assessing disease surveillance and notification systems after a pandemic

Date:
April 3, 2013
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Significant investments over the past decade into disease surveillance and notification systems appear to have "paid off" and the systems "work remarkably well," says a researcher who examined the public health response systems during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

Significant investments over the past decade into disease surveillance and notification systems appear to have "paid off" and the systems "work remarkably well," says a Georgetown University Medical Center researcher who examined the public health response systems during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

The findings are published online today in PLOS ONE.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. and the potential threat of bioterrorism, many new advanced systems for disease surveillance and notification have been developed and implemented throughout the world. The goal of these systems is not only to detect a possible biological attack, but to characterize emerging pathogens so that a public health response can be implemented rapidly.

"You can't test these systems on a day-to-day basis," says the study's corresponding author, Michael A. Stoto, PhD, a professor in the department of health systems administration at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, part of Georgetown University Medical Center. "The only way to test these systems is how they perform in a real public health emergency."

Stoto and his colleagues conducted a systematic and detailed review of the scientific literature, official documents, websites and news reports to construct a timeline of events for the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, including the emergence and spread of the virus, local health officials' awareness and understanding of the outbreak, and notifications about the events and their implications.

Stoto's analysis focused on three critical events: the identification of a novel viral subtype in of two California children, the recognition that multiple disease outbreaks throughout Mexico were connected to the two cases California cases, and the additional connection of about 100 New York City school children who had been to Mexico for spring break.

"Enhanced laboratory capacity in the U.S. and Canada led to earlier identification and characterization of the novel H1N1 strain," says Stoto, an expert on population health and public health assessment. "That recognition triggered national and global pandemic plans." He says tests were quickly developed to aid in surveillance and clinical decision-making and a vaccine was developed in time for the second H1N1 pandemic wave in fall 2009.

He also credits enhanced global notification systems that led to an earlier detection and characterization of the outbreak by "connecting the dots" between the cases in California, Mexico and New York City.

"The systems worked remarkably well," Stoto says, estimating that it might have been possible for the detection to be made a week sooner, though he says it's not likely that earlier detection would have changed the outcome. "Had the pandemic occurred as recently as 10 years ago, the delay could have been much greater," Stoto adds.

"What really made a difference in 2009 was that people from the U.S. and Mexico talked to each other through a formalized system of communication," he says. "I think taxpayers and policymakers want to know if the billions invested after 9-11 to prepare for a biological event is paying off. I think the answer is 'yes.' We've made significant progress in a short time."

The study was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(grant #5P01TP000307-01). Additional authors include Ying Zhang, a student in the Georgetown global infectious disease PhD program, and Hugo Lopez-Gatell and Celia M. Alpuche-Aranda of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico. Stoto and his colleagues report having no personal financial interests related to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhang Y, Lopez-Gatell H, Alpuche-Aranda CM, Stoto MA. Did Advances in Global Surveillance and Notification Systems Make a Difference in the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic?–A Retrospective Analysis. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (4): e59893 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059893

Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Assessing disease surveillance and notification systems after a pandemic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130403200200.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2013, April 3). Assessing disease surveillance and notification systems after a pandemic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130403200200.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Assessing disease surveillance and notification systems after a pandemic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130403200200.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
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


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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