Surveillance for Emerging Infectious Diseases: A Canadian Perspective
Surveillance approaches for emerging zoonotic infectious diseases is less well developed than for traditional clearly-defined diseases. Zoonotic diseases with recent implications in Canada include: influenza, West Nile Virus (WNV), Lyme Disease (LD), Hantavirus Pulmonary Disease (HPS), and food-borne zoonoses, with influenza having the greatest human impact. Emerging zoonotic disease (EZD) surveillance focuses on detecting both range expansions of known pathogens and the emergence of new pathogens, for which the causative agents, reservoirs or vectors may remain unknown. Suggested EZD surveillance approaches include:
- Syndromic or rapid response surveillance;
- Information surveillance;
- Sentinel surveillance;
- Laboratory surveillance.
Perhaps the greatest challenge in EZD surveillance is the lack of a clear case definition or identified causative agent when looking for novel disease emergence.