Public Health Surveillance System

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Public health surveillance is the continuous systematic collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of data which is used in public health action planning and execution to reduce morbidity and mortality and to improve health (German R.R., Lee L.M., Horan J.M., Milstein R.L., 2001). To determine the existence of any prospective disease outbreak, the traditional public health surveillance system focuses on the collection and monitoring of the confirmed clinical and laboratory diagnosis data in a retrospective way, such as the daily counts of confirmed laboratory results of particular disease (R. D. Fricker, 2010; Shmueli & Burkom, 2010). Although these indicators provide direct evidence of the current disease burden and potential…show more content…
The monitored indicators are derived from pre-diagnostic information, such as the emergency department visit, calls to health line, school/work absenteeism, over-the-counter (OTC) medication sales, chief complaints of individuals entering hospital emergency department and searches on medical web sites etc., which do not directly measure the number of the cases of any specific disease (Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion & Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee, 2012). These data track the individual behaviors with the assumptions that these behaviors should occur following the onset of the disease. Therefore, the indicators from the syndromic surveillance data do not necessary directly reflect the disease burden or outbreaks (R. D. Fricker, 2010) . However, assuming that the syndromic data contain sufficiently strong and early signs of particular disease outbreak (e.g. influenza) when being aggregated across the population level, this information would provide valuable evidence in the early and timely detection of disease
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