Infectious disease surveillance is essential for case detection, illness distribution determination, and hypotheses generation. The final application of these data is to investigate, prevent, and control a given infectious disease. Ongoing data collection and data integration, two key features of surveillance, are critical to conduct and evaluate specific public health efforts leading to infectious disease prevention.
While surveillance of infectious disease is important, sometimes data collection and data reporting for infectious disease surveillance may interfere with individual liberty. Consider the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, when the United States required mandatory screening, examination, and reporting of the names of HIV/AIDS infected individuals to public health registries (Bayer, 2007). This practice resulted in intense controversy surrounding the efforts to preserve the right of individuals.
For this Discussion, select a recent example of an increase in reportable infectious disease in your community that was not an outbreak. Consider the major issues surrounding the increase of cases and how surveillance was used to identify the cases. Think about the data collection and reporting of infected individuals and consider if such activities may intrude on privacy and restrict the liberties of its citizens in order to serve the common good.
A description of the increase in cases for the disease you selected and explain how surveillance was used to identify the cases.
Describe two challenges in monitoring the spread of the infectious disease you selected. As an epidemiologist explain how you might balance the need to control infectious diseases and individual liberties. Provide an example to support your view.