The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Information Sharing and Collaboration: Applications to Integrated Biosurveillance—Workshop Summary (2011)

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax mailings, the U.S. government prioritized a biosurveillance strategy aimed at detecting, monitoring, and characterizing national security health threats in human and animal populations, food, water, agriculture, and the environment. However, gaps and challenges in biosurveillance efforts and integration of biosurveillance activities remain. On September 8-9, 2011, the IOM held a workshop to explore the information-sharing and collaboration processes needed for the nation's integrated biosurveillance strategy. This publication summarizes that workshop.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: The only way public health agencies can deal with infectious disease is to have good surveillance in place, wait for an outbreak to happen in a human population, and then rush to contain it.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    By identifying pathogens in the animals where they naturally live and monitoring those organisms as they move from animals into people, it may be possible to prevent deadly new infections of animal origin from entering and racing through human populations.

  • Correct!

    By identifying pathogens in the animals where they naturally live and monitoring those organisms as they move from animals into people, it may be possible to prevent deadly new infections of animal origin from entering and racing through human populations.