How can we improve global infectious disease surveillance and prevent the next outbreak?

Scand J Infect Dis. 2013 Dec;45(12):944-7. doi: 10.3109/00365548.2013.826877. Epub 2013 Sep 4.


Despite a significant amount of progress in the past decade, global infectious disease surveillance still often falters, as in the case of the emerging novel coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people in Saudi Arabia. This article argues that we must continuously re-evaluate global infectious disease surveillance systems. It takes stock of problems in various countries' infectious disease surveillance systems and offers recommendations for how to improve surveillance and ensure more rapid reporting. Chief among the recommendations are strategies for reducing fragmentation in global surveillance systems and methods for making these systems less disease-specific. Suggestions are also offered for ways to improve infectious disease surveillance strategies in resource-limited settings.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / methods*
  • Communicable Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Disease Notification / methods*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance / methods