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History of Disease Surveillance

Influence that Specific Historical Events have had in the Evolution of Disease Surveillance

History of Disease Surveillance

The historical record of any movement is composed of significant turning points or events. The same can
be found in the historical development of disease surveillance. This week, you analyze the influence of
key events in guiding the evolution of disease surveillance and predict the future trajectory of disease

surveillance and its impact.

To complete this Application Assignment, write a 2- to 3-page paper analyzing the influence that specific
historical events have had in the evolution of disease surveillance systems. Then, forecast the next
phase(s) in disease surveillance and explain how the changes that you predict will impact public health

policy and practice.


Influence that Specific Historical Events have had in the Evolution of Disease Surveillance


Public health actions are vital to the wellbeing of communities and the society in general.
As a result, among the methods that are used to enhance the effectiveness of community
wellbeing is disease surveillance systems. Disease surveillance systems are the strategies that are
used to collect, analyze, manage, analyze and interpret that is used to stimulate public health
actions (Tsui et al., 2003). However, the transition of the disease surveillance system has been
impacted by a number of factors among them historical events. However, the surveillance
systems have been specifically focusing on infectious diseases as compared to other kinds of
diseases (Tsui et al., 2003). As a result, the main role of surveillance systems is to detect
outbreaks, provide guidance for national allocation, coordinate outbreak responses, monitor
control programs and describe the epidemiology of diseases.
Te first law that impacted disease surveillance systems came about in 1893 when the law
got enacted. In the specifications of the law, it was required that all municipal authorities should
present health information on a weekly basis (Tsui et al., 2003). In the same year, Michigan
came out as the first state to use the reporting of infectious diseases (Tsui et al., 2003). The
events acted as a hallmark for infectious disease surveillance and the resultant diseases
surveillance systems. In 1916, poliomyelitis became severe all over the country, and the


surveillance of the disease was not a question of contention (Tsui et al., 2003). As a result, all
states in the United States began to present morbidity reports that acted in the part of disease
surveillance systems. In addition, the influenza pandemic that hit the United States in 1919 also
led to mandatory surveillance by 1925 (Tsui et al., 2003).
In 1935, America established its first ever national health survey system that took effect
immediately and all over the United States (Tsui et al., 2003). The survey system worked well
with all infectious diseases, and the United States began to have a more relaxed picture of
infectious diseases and how to deal with them. However, disease surveillance systems became
official in 1963 when the Center for Disease Control (CDC) chief epidemiologist gave a speech
about disease surveillance systems (Tsui et al., 2003). In the speech, he identified disease
surveillance systems will work well for populations as compared to individuals. Alexander
Langmuir became the father of disease surveillance systems, and this key event played a great
role in the evolution of the surveillance systems.
Before Langmuir’s speech in 1963, there was a key event in 1955 that changed the face
of disease surveillance systems. A polio vaccination sprang into motion in 1955 (Tsui et al.,
2003). However, soon after setting the program into motion, some of the polio cases were
identified to originate from the program (Tsui et al., 2003). As a result, the program was shut up,
and CDC set up a team to investigate the issue. Daily surveillance reports became a necessity
from each state in the United States, and the information was sent to the polio vaccination
program head (Tsui et al., 2003). With officers in the field, the problem was identified in certain
manufacturer of the vaccines and corrected. Thereafter, other events followed that further cause
the evolution of disease surveillance systems. Among the events included the 1986 CDC report


that contained information and recommendations and the increased popularity of the systems in
the 1990s (Tsui et al., 2003).
In my prediction, disease surveillance systems are about to evolve to the point that they
will play a role in defining likely outbreaks before they occur. The aspect will become possible
through the use of information to predict trends. As a result, the society will become more
protected in terms of infections. In the process, public health policy and practice will enhance its
significance in fighting with diseases.



Tsui, F. C., Espino, J. U., Dato, V. M., Gesteland, P. H., Hutman, J., & Wagner, M. M. (2003).
Technical description of RODS: a real-time public health surveillance system. Journal of
the American Medical Informatics Association, 10(5), 399-408.

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