Global biosurveillance is frequently talked about but, what is really meant by the term? Dr. Michael Wagner, in the Handbook of Biosurveillance, states that, “Biosurveillance is a process that detects disease in people, plants, or animals. It detects and characterizes outbreaks of disease. It monitors the environment for bacteria, viruses, and other biological agents that cause disease.” This is a great start and would hold also when applied to a global context. Dictionary.com does not list a definition for biosurveillance. However, there is an entry for surveillance of disease which says, “the ongoing systematic collection and analysis of data about an infectious disease that can lead to action being taken to control or prevent the disease.”
Detect and control or prevent infectious disease. Globally. Really?
In this series of blogs I will talk about global biosurveillance, what it is, what it is not, and approaches to implement it.