The Evolution and Capability of Disease Surveillance

 The Evolution and Capability of Disease Surveillance

The family coronavirus viruses cause common colds, tuberculosis, and SARS, an illness the Chinese had recovered from. Yet again, the country faces a similar, and probably even a viral, epidemic that could cause more damage. Besides China, the presence of the virus has already spread to 22 countries with more than 16,000 infected people and at least 555 killed.

Amid the outbreak, a disease surveillance network was developed by the Chinese government to prevent the spread of another infectious disease in the same way. The Chinese Government developed the first version in 1959 after the Asian H2N2 pandemic which emerged in China in 1957. Across the world, 1.1 million people are believed to have been killed. But the programme, when China saw its first SARS case in 2002, was out of date. Hence the government has developed a new online system after the SARS outbreak that enables clinics and hospitals to report cases in real time.

When the three arrived at a hospital in Wuhan, China with the same symptoms of pneumonia, the medical staff took immediate action and followed standard procedures: entry of the patient's geographic location into a government database, demographic details, and infection status; Such data is forwarded to the National Infectious Disease Surveillance Information System database, China's national medical surveillance network.

If the system suggests a higher than usual incidence of disease in a given region, this will alert policy analysts and officials to perform a closer inspection, and may order additional laboratory inspections.
And China's finding a fever in Wuhan in a week from the first report. Coughing patients did not have pneumonia, and they were infected with another form of virus that humans had never seen before.

Despite being declared a global threat and the widespread hysteria being circulated via numerous media outlets, the outbreak of the virus is being handled in a better way than in the past. In addition to the identification and quarantine work, progress towards developing a viable vaccine is quicker due to all the available tools and encouragement from around the globe.

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