At Aegis, one of our clients has recently undertaken a project to create new tools and technologies for biosurveillance and has hired us to help execute the project. Biosurveillance plays an extremely important role in public health; however, because this process happens behind the scenes, facilitated by our government in conjunction with international agencies and non-governmental organizations, most of us aren’t aware of what biosurveillance is or how it impacts our day-to-day lives. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to provide a short overview of this topic.
All infectious diseases are caused by a biological agent (a virus, bacterium, or other pathogen) and transmitted to or between people to cause illness. However, infectious diseases vary in a number of characteristics, including the way they are transmitted (between people or through an intermediate vector like an insect) and the severity, duration, and type of symptoms they cause, among other factors. Some infectious diseases cause severe illness and death in populations and are one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Biosurveillance is the approach used by governments and public health agencies to monitor health-related data and information to understand the current burden of a particular disease, receive early warning of threats and hazards, and implement early detection and rapid characterization of health-impacting events. While biosurveillance is a broad term used for characterizing all disease, whether communicable or non-communicable, I’d like to focus on the use of biosurveillance for the monitoring and intervention of infectious disease. READ MORE