Opportunistic approaches to evaluation of surveillance efforts in resource-limited countries

The Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) delivers interventions to enhance surveillance of especially dangerous pathogens of both humans and animals within countries of the former Soviet Union. The program targets the different stages at which threats or their impact can be reduced, for example via i) the reduction of exposure to threats, or ii) measures for the containment of the threat.

May 02, 2019

Who Should We Be Listening to? Applying Models of User Authority to Detecting Emerging Topics on the EIN

Emerging event detection is the process of automatically identifying novel and emerging ideas from text with minimal human intervention. With the rise of social networks like Twitter, topic detection has begun leveraging measures of user influence to identify emerging events. Twitter's highly skewed follower/followee structure lends itself to an intuitive model of influence, yet in a context like the Emerging Infections Network (EIN), a sentinel surveillance listserv of over 1400 infectious disease experts, developing a useful model of authority becomes less clear.

May 02, 2019

Classification of errors for quality assurance in the emerging infections program influenza hospitalizations surveillance system

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Emerging Infections Program (EIP) monitors and studies many infectious diseases, including influenza. In 10 states in the US, information is collected for hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Data are extracted manually by EIP personnel at each site, stripped of personal identifiers and sent to the CDC. The anonymized data are received and reviewed for consistency at the CDC before they are incorporated into further analyses. This includes identifying errors, which are used for classification.


June 14, 2019

Creating a shared epidemiologic vocabulary: lessons from the former Soviet Union

As part of the United States Department of Defense strategy to counter biological threats, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s biological threat reduction program is enhancing the capabilities of countries in the former Soviet Union (FSU) to detect, diagnose, and report endemic and epidemic, manmade or natural cases of especially dangerous pathogens. During these engagements, it is noted that Western-trained and Soviet-trained epidemiologists have difficulty, beyond that of simple translation, in exchanging ideas. 

June 14, 2019

Identifying water contamination from syndromic surveillance signals

The EPA Water Security initiative contamination warning system detection strategy involves the use of multiple monitoring and surveillance components for timely detection of drinking water contamination in the distribution system. The public health surveillance (PHS) component of the contamination warning system involves the analysis of health-related data to identify disease events that may stem from drinking water contamination.

June 26, 2019

Evaluation of Online Media Reports for Global Infectious Disease Intelligence

While traditional means of surveillance by governments, multi-national agencies, and institutional networks assist in reporting and confirming infectious disease outbreaks, these formal sources of information are limited by their geographic coverage and timeliness of information flow. In contrast, rapid global reach of electronic communication has resulted in the advent of informal sources of information on outbreaks. Informal resources include discussion sites, online news media, individual and organization reports and even individual search records.

July 30, 2018

Bird Flu: The Media and Syndromic Surveillance

In the past, the media has served a source of data for syndromic surveillance of infectious disease, whether it is outbreaks of disease in animals or humans resulting in illness or death.  More often than not, the reverse is true; data based on analyses of   syndromic surveillance often flows from hospital to local health departments and federal governmental agencies such as the CDC to the media which then relays it to the public.

July 30, 2018

Limb Elephantiasis as Predictor for the Occurrence and Spread of Lymphatic Filariasis in Kano State, Nigeria

Lymphatic filariasis is one of the most prevalent of the tropical diseases, but is also the most neglected.Though significant advances have been made in the understanding both the disease and its control, there is general lack of information about its socioeconomic effects, prevalence and distribution in most endemic societies. Presently, there is global effort towards the elimination of the disease by 2020. The success of this programme depends largely on the use of simple, non-invasive procedures to identify endemic communities.

March 26, 2019

Bio-Surveillance and Enhanced Situational Awareness


Syndromic surveillance has been used to detect variation in seasonal viral illnesses such as influenza and norovirus infection (1). Limited information is available on the use of a comprehensive bio-surveillance system, including syndromic surveillance, for detection and situational awareness during a sustained outbreak.  


To report on surveillance and response activities during the 2006-2007 norovirus season in Boston.

July 30, 2018

Full Automatic Syndromic Surveillance System Using Prescription in Japan

I Medical services for outpatients are well developed due to universal public health insurance. Even patients who have mild symptoms can visit a clinic freely in Japan. Thus the monitoring of outpatients provides very timely information to detect unusual events. On the other hand, EMRs haven't had much penetration, less than 10% at clinics and 20% at hospitals. Moreover, almost nobody uses HL7 or other standards for EMRs. Therefore, it is very difficult to develop a syndromic surveillance system using EMRs like the U.S. We have to develop a system for each EMR and it has a heavy cost.

July 30, 2018


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