About this item:

500 Views | 521 Downloads

Author Notes:

Address for correspondence: James Buehler, Rollins School of Public Health, Rm. 416, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd., NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA; fax: 404-712-8345; email: jbuehle@sph.emory.edu

We wish to acknowledge the contributions of the anonymous reviewers.


Research Funding:

Drs. Buehler and Berkelman were supported in part by a grant from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation.

Syndromic Surveillance and Bioterrorism-related Epidemics


Journal Title:

Emerging Infectious Diseases


Volume 9, Number 10


, Pages 1197-1204

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


To facilitate rapid detection of a future bioterrorist attack, an increasing number of public health departments are investing in new surveillance systems that target the early manifestations of bioterrorism-related disease. Whether this approach is likely to detect an epidemic sooner than reporting by alert clinicians remains unknown. The detection of a bioterrorism-related epidemic will depend on population characteristics, availability and use of health services, the nature of an attack, epidemiologic features of individual diseases, surveillance methods, and the capacity of health departments to respond to alerts. Predicting how these factors will combine in a bioterrorism attack may be impossible. Nevertheless, understanding their likely effect on epidemic detection should help define the usefulness of syndromic surveillance and identify approaches to increasing the likelihood that clinicians recognize and report an epidemic.

Copyright information:

Emerging Infectious Diseases is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a U.S. Government agency. Therefore, all materials published in Emerging Infectious Diseases are in the public domain and can be used without permission.

Export to EndNote