Biosurveillance: Methods and Case Studies, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


Methods and Case Studies, 1st Edition

Edited by Taha Kass-Hout, Xiaohui Zhang

Chapman and Hall/CRC

380 pages | 50 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439800461
pub: 2010-11-09
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As evidenced by the anthrax attacks in 2001, the SARS outbreak in 2003, and the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, a pathogen does not recognize geographic or national boundaries, often leading to devastating consequences. Automated biosurveillance systems have emerged as key solutions for mitigating current and future health-related events. Focusing on this promising public health innovation, Biosurveillance: Methods and Case Studies discusses how these systems churn through vast amounts of health-related data to support epidemiologists and public health officials in the early identification, situation awareness, and response management of natural and man-made health-related events.

The book follows a natural sequence from theory to application. The initial chapters build a foundation while subsequent chapters present more applied case studies from around the world, including China, the United States, Denmark, and the Asia-Pacific region. The contributors share candid, first-hand insights on lessons learned and unresolved issues that will help chart the future of biosurveillance.

As this book illustrates, biosurveillance operates in a complex, multidimensional problem space that incorporates varied data. Capturing the progress of modern-day pioneers who are walking in John Snow’s footsteps, this volume shows how contemporary information technology can be applied to the age-old challenge of combating the spread of disease and illness.


… solidly grounded in biosurveillance practice. … chapters describe some of the exciting new sources of data, including SMS text messaging, remote sensing, and even rumour-based information sources. … excellent background or motivational reading for advanced students entering the area. It provides up-to-date illustrations of where this fast-developing field is now.

—David J. Hand, International Statistical Review, 2012

While having its roots in 21st-century infectious disease threats to health on a grand scale, biosurveillance has come to encompass a broader scope of the science and practice of managing population health-related data and information so that effective action can be taken to mitigate adverse health effects from urgent threats. This expansive scope is reflected in the diverse collection of reports and perspectives brought together in Biosurveillance: Methods and Case Studies. … This text provides an important venue for the sharing of ideas and engagement of health scientists and practitioners that will be needed to assure progress.

—From the Foreword by Daniel M. Sosin, MD, MPH, Acting Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Table of Contents

Timeliness of Data Sources, Lynne Dailey

Simulating and Evaluating Biosurveillance Datasets, Thomas H. Lotze, Galit Shmueli, Yahav Inbal, and Robert H. Smith

Remote Sensing-Based Modeling of Infectious Disease Transmission, Richard K. Kiang, Farida Adimi, and Radina P. Soebiyanto

Integrating Human Capabilities into Biosurveillance Systems: A Study of Biosurveillance and Situation Awareness, Cheryl A. Bolstad, Haydee M. Cuevas, Jingjing Wang-Costello, Mica R. Endsley, Walton John Page, and Taha Kass-Hout

The Role of Zoos in Biosurveillance, Julia Chosy, Janice Mladonicky, and Tracey McNamara

HealthMap, Amy L. Sonricker, MPH, Clark C. Freifeld, Mikaela Keller, and John S. Brownstein

The Role of SMS Text Messaging to Improve Public Health Response, Elizabeth Avery Gomez

Using Prediction Markets to Forecast Infectious Diseases, Philip M. Polgreen and Forrest D. Nelson

The Role of Data Aggregation in Public Health and Food Safety Surveillance, Artur Dubrawski

Introduction to China’s Infectious Disease Surveillance System, Jin Shuigao and Ma Jiaqi

Biosurveillance and Public Health Practice: A Case Study of North Carolina’s NC DETECT System, S. Cornelia Kaydos-Daniels, Lucia Rojas Smith, Amy I. Ising, Clifton Barnett, Tonya Farris, Anna E. Waller, and Scott Wetterhall

Aberration Detection in R Illustrated by Danish Mortality Monitoring, Michael Höhle and Anne Mazick

User Requirements toward a Real-Time Biosurveillance Program, Nuwan Waidyanatha and Suma Prashant

Using Common Alerting Protocol to Support a Real-Time Biosurveillance Program in Sri Lanka and India, Gordon A. Gow and Nuwan Waidyanatha

Navigating the Information Storm: Web-Based Global Health Surveillance in BioCaster, Nigel Collier, Son Doan, Reiko Matsuda Goodwin, John McCrae, Mike Conway, Mika Shigematsu, and Ai Kawazoe

A Snapshot of Situation Awareness: Using the NC DETECT System to Monitor the 2007 Heat Wave, David B. Rein

Linking Detection to Effective Response, Scott F. Wetterhall, Taha Kass-Hout, and David L. Buckeridge

About the Editors

Taha Kass-Hout has over 14 years of experience in health, public health, and informatics. He has led research and development initiatives, the critical assessment of new and emerging health IT technologies, and the development of new capabilities and solutions in health and public health for federal, state, commercial, and international health organizations. A member of several professional societies, Dr. Kass-Hout has published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at numerous national and international forums, and been an invited guest speaker at various health and policy events. He earned his M.Sc. and M.D. from the University of Texas. In addition, he has had clinical training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center.

Xiaohui Zhang is the president of International Public Health Institute, a nonprofit organization. For over 20 years, Dr. Zhang has led the scientific effort in the development of infectious disease surveillance systems, disease outbreak early detection and early warning systems, public health emergency preparedness and response systems, and information systems for comprehensive health care management. He has authored more than 40 publications in information technology, disease surveillance, decision making support, operational research, environmental modeling, artificial intelligence, simulation, and electrical engineering.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / General
MEDICAL / Public Health
MEDICAL / Biostatistics