History of Disease Surveillance Assignment

History of Disease Surveillance
History of Disease Surveillance

History of Disease Surveillance

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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 Systems

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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