Smallpox vaccine being administered. Note the bifurcated needle.
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Abstract This paper provides a review of the past, present, and future of public health surveillance—the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health action.
Public health surveillance dates back to the first recorded epidemic in B. Current theories, principles, and practice of public health surveillance are summarized.
A number of surveillance dichotomies, such as epidemiologic surveillance versus public health surveillance, are described. Some future scenarios are presented, while current activities that can affect the future are summarized: It is concluded that learning from the past, reflecting on the present, and planning for the future can further enhance public health surveillance.
Public health surveillance is considered to be an essential public health function [ 34 ]. A public health system is said to have five essential functions: Public health surveillance is considered the best weapon to avert epidemics [ 6 ].
The objective of this paper is to provide a review of the past, present, and future of public health surveillance. The section on the past includes an account of major epidemics in human history, the historical milestones in the development of public health surveillance, and the historical evolvement of the concepts and definitions of public health surveillance.
As much as possible, original historical documents have been consulted and quoted in this paper. The section on the present describes the uses and components of public health surveillance as we know it today. The section on the future reviews the literature concerning possible scenarios and proposed directions by various authors for future development of public health surveillance.
Records of Major Epidemics in Human History Public health surveillance dates back to the time of Pharaoh Mempses in the First Dynasty, when an epidemic was first recorded in human history [ 7 ].
Table 1 provides a list of major epidemics recorded in history. It also provides the necessary background and context for the discussion below of the major milestones and historical development of the concepts and definitions of public health surveillance.
Some major epidemics in human history. From an analysis of Table 1it can be seen that three types of information were included in the historical records of epidemics. These are health outcomes, risk factors, and interventions Table 2.
These are also the types of information that should be included in a modern day public health surveillance system. They are the forces guiding the changes in public health.
Health outcomes measure the state of public health. Risk factors move the state of public health towards undesirable health outcomes, and interventions if successful move the state of public health towards desirable health outcomes. Three types of information in the historical records of epidemics based on an analysis of Table 1.
Major Milestones in the Historical Development of Public Health Surveillance Simply recording epidemics is not exactly public health surveillance as we know it today.
Major milestones in the historical development of concepts in public health surveillance are given in Table 3.
The first record of an epidemic was made in B. Some major milestones in the historical development of public health surveillance. The idea of collecting and analyzing data dates back to Hippocrates B. He is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally and not because of superstition and gods [ 42 ].
Disease was a consequence of local conditions, which had to be favourable for a particular disease to occur. He introduced the concept of categorizing illnesses as acute short duration or chronic long lasting. He also coined the terms endemic for diseases usually found in some places but not in others; steady state and epidemic for diseases that are seen at some times but not others; abrupt change in incidence [ 3143 ].
Pleurisies, peripneumonies, ardent fevers, and whatever diseases are reckoned acute, do not often occur, for such diseases are not apt to prevail where the bowels are loose.
Ophthalmies occur of a humid character, but not of a serious nature, and of short duration, unless they attack epidemically from the change of the seasons. And when they pass their fiftieth year, defluxions supervening from the brain, render them paralytic when exposed suddenly to strokes of the sun, or to cold.
These diseases are endemic to them, and, moreover, if any epidemic disease connected with the change of the seasons, prevail, they are also liable to it. According to the Hippocratic definition, an endemic is a disease determined by the nature of a certain place, and climatic, hydrological, and behavioural determinants are seen as the main forces [ 45 ].
This provides the concept of collecting data on place, natural environment and people for determination of illness.
The Venetian Republic appointed 3 guardians of public health to detect and exclude ships which had infected people aboard [ 2627 ]. Quarantine as a means to control the spread of infectious diseases was used again in in Marseilles to detain travellers from plague-infected areas for 40 days [ 12 ].
The concept of systematic ongoing collection of mortality data was first used in when the town council of London, England started to keep a count of the number of persons dying from the plague [ 28 ].The Institute for Defence and Security Studies NSW aims to promote informed debate on, and to improve public awareness and understanding of, defence and national security.
Fideisms Judaism is the Semitic monotheistic fideist religion based on the Old Testament's ( BCE) rules for the worship of Yahweh by his chosen people, the children of Abraham's son Isaac (c BCE).. Zoroastrianism is the Persian monotheistic fideist religion founded by Zarathustra (cc BCE) and which teaches that good .
The smallpox vaccine diluent in a syringe alongside a vial of Dryvax dried smallpox vaccine. After being taken down twice by Blogger within a single week, we got the message: It’s Time To Go. Gates of Vienna has moved to a new address. “One need not be a chamber to be haunted.” Dickinson, Emily.
Complete Poems. Abstract. This paper provides a review of the past, present, and future of public health surveillance—the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health action.