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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Surveillance of Vector-Borne Diseases in California


Public health surveillance is defined as the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data. Public health surveillance is a dynamic process because it represents information for action. Action taken may in turn affect how and what further surveillance is performed. Surveillance data is collected from a variety of different sources including disease reporting, laboratory reporting, sentinel systems, and surveys. The Vector-Borne Disease Section of the California Department of Health Services performs surveillance primarily for diseases that are carried by rodents, ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas. Surveillance for these diseases is often multifaceted, involving the monitoring of human and animal diseases, monitoring vector populations, and monitoring for infections in these vectors. Information gained from surveillance of vector-borne diseases is used to guide control or prevention measures. Examples of the surveillance systems for West Nile virus, plague, and Lyme disease are presented.

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