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Surveillance 

Surveillance
Chapter:
Surveillance
Author(s):

Katherine Russell

and Mike Catchpole

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198719830.003.0002
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date: 24 November 2020

Surveillance is essential to effectively control and prevent infectious diseases, including providing information for public health policy and action. The process of surveillance is defined in the International Health Regulations 2005 as ‘the on-going collection, collation and analysis of data for public health purposes and timely dissemination of public health information for assessment and public health response as necessary.’ This chapter highlights the key purposes of surveillance systems for infectious diseases. It covers the common types of surveillance system, their design, and methods to monitor their quality. The different sources of data used in surveillance systems are presented, along with the importance of analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of these data. New opportunities for surveillance in the future, including genomics, event-based surveillance, and Big Data, are covered, and the key issues related to data protection and governance are reviewed.

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