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Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Jan;14(1):18-24. doi: 10.3201/eid1401.070717.

International Circumpolar Surveillance, an Arctic network for the surveillance of infectious diseases.

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Arctic Investigations Program, National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA.


Peoples of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions live in social and physical environments that differ substantially from those of their more southern-dwelling counterparts. The cold northern climate keeps people indoors, amplifying the effects of household crowding, smoking, and inadequate ventilation on person-to-person spread of infectious disease. The emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance among bacterial pathogens, the reemergence of tuberculosis, the entrance of HIV into Arctic communities, and the spectre of pandemic influenza or the sudden emergence and introduction of new viral pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome are of increasing concern to residents, governments, and public health authorities. The International Circumpolar Surveillance system is a network of hospital, public health agencies, and reference laboratories throughout the Arctic linked together to collect, compare, and share uniform laboratory and epidemiologic data on infectious diseases and assist in the formulation of prevention and control strategies.

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