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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1994 Dec 15;740:346-61.

Emerging infectious diseases in the United States, Improved surveillance, a requisite for prevention.

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  • 1National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.


Emerging infectious diseases such as prolonged diarrheal illness due to water-borne Cryptosporidium, hemorrhagic colitis and renal failure from food-borne E. coli O157:H7, and rodent-borne hantavirus pulmonary syndrome as well as reemerging infections such as tuberculosis, pertussis, and cholera vividly illustrate that we remain highly vulnerable to the microorganisms with which we share our environment. Prompt detection of new and resurgent infectious disease threats depends on careful monitoring by modern surveillance systems. This article focuses on five important elements of improved surveillance for emerging infections: 1) strengthening the national notifiable disease system, 2) establishing sentinel surveillance networks, 3) establishing population-based emerging infections programs, 4) developing a system for enhanced global surveillance, and 5) applying new tools and novel approaches to surveillance.

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