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Public Health Surveillance/Infectious Disease

What is Public Health Surveillance?

Public health surveillance has been defined as “the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data with the a priori purpose of preventing or controlling disease or injury and identifying unusual events of public health importance, followed by the dissemination and use of such information for public health action.”

The data collected is to be used for public health purposes only, to engage stakeholders, and to ensure protection of personal information.

Healthcare professionals are traditionally mandated to notify public health authorities about cases of specified diseases within a certain time-frame. The authorities then analyze the data and take appropriate action.