CHAPTER 13Since early 1999, the City of Lubbock Department of Health (DOH) in
Texas has evaluated several syndrome-based disease surveillance systems. A “syndrome” is not a diagnosis, of course, but rather a concise
description of the symptoms (i.e., what the patient complains of when visiting the doctor) and signs (i.e., what the doctor finds on examination). The
very thoughtful people at the City of Lubbock DOH hypothesized that by
using syndrome-based surveillance instead of the traditional disease-based
systems, they could cost-effectively address the major responsibilities of
public health departments that have been laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those responsibilities include:
A NEW WEAPON IN THE FIGHT
|• ||Preventing epidemics and the spread of disease
Protecting against environmental hazards|
|• ||Preventing injuries|
|• ||Promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors and mental health|
|• ||Responding to disasters and assisting communities in recovery|
|• ||Ensuring the quality and accessibility of health services|
In theory, a syndrome-based disease surveillance system (SBDSS), by
virtue of its timely reporting capabilities and volume of information flows,
could assist in meeting these central public health responsibilities. In practice, however, the underlying technical features, scientific approach, and
ease-of-use design of each SBDSS is dramatically different across the dozens
of systems currently in existence. Some of these systems have been imple
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Microbe: Are We Ready for the Next Plague?.
Contributors: Alan P. Zelicoff - Author, Michael Bellomo - Author.
Publisher: American Management Association.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 2005.
Page number: 189.
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