Biosurveillance

Core Goal #5 Biosurveillance

Every jurisdiction in Maryland should have access to a real-time, 24/7 statewide bio-surveillance system that incorporates a wide span of data, including symptoms presenting in emergency rooms and to paramedics, over-the-counter sales of pharmaceuticals, animal carcass pick up, and in metropolitan areas, sensor-based data, such as air monitoring for chemical and radiological releases.

Why is Biosurveillance important?
Biosurveillance provides early warning of an epidemic or outbreak and enhanced tracking through the real-time monitoring of health and environmental data.  Public health biosurveillance focuses on the symptoms presenting in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and indicators of symptoms from other health data sources to assist in identifying both naturally occurring outbreaks such as seasonal influenza or intentional acts such as the release of anthrax or chemical poison.  Biosurveillance is not limited to medical data but also includes the monitoring and tracking of air and water for contamination due to accidents or intentional acts.

Governor O'Malley's Strategic Plan for Biosurveillance:

5A – Every region in Maryland should have access to a real-time 24/7 bio-surveillance system.

• Maximize participation from hospitals, pharmacies, and other key sources of bio-related information in bio-surveillance systems.
• Maximize the number of data elements feeding into the bio-surveillance system.

5B – Maryland’s metropolitan areas should have sensor-based data to monitor for chemical and radiological releases.

• Metropolitan areas should have a system of sensors capable of monitoring for chemical and radiological release surrounding pre-identified target sites and areas which is capable of feeding information in real-time to key state and local partners.

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