Biosurveillance: Methods and Case Studies Review

Biosurveillance: Methods and Case Studies
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Given the broad range of natural and man-made threats we face, automated biosurveillance is an essential capability that must be developed. However, while many cite its advantages, few have a clear understanding of what will be required to broadly implement such systems. Dr. Kass-Hout does an outstanding job outlining models of such systems, while detailing their potential and pitfalls. It is a sobering view of the promise such systems holds, limitations in their current forms, and what obstacles must be overcome to make them truly effective. This is educational, inspiring, and a wake-up call to those in the public health community, as well as those concerned about about effectively identifying an managing future outbreaks.

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As evidenced by the anthrax attacks in 2001, the SARS outbreak in 2003, and the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, a pathogen does not recognize geographic or national boundaries, often leading to devastating consequences. Automated biosurveillance systems have emerged as key solutions for mitigating current and future health-related events. Focusing on this promising public health innovation, Biosurveillance: Methods and Case Studies discusses how these systems churn through vast amounts of health-related data to support epidemiologists and public health officials in the early identification, situation awareness, and response management of natural and man-made health-related events.The book follows a natural sequence from theory to application. The initial chapters build a foundation while subsequent chapters present more applied case studies from around the world, including China, the United States, Denmark, and the Asia-Pacific region. The contributors share candid, first-hand insights on lessons learned and unresolved issues that will help chart the future of biosurveillance.As this book illustrates, biosurveillance operates in a complex, multidimensional problem space that incorporates varied data. Capturing the progress of modern-day pioneers who are walking in John Snow's footsteps, this volume shows how contemporary information technology can be applied to the age-old challenge of combating the spread of disease and illness.

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