Tuesday, September 1, 2015

HealthMap is a Way to Track Virus Surveillance

Have you ever wondered how the world is mapped and tracked accurately? There are plenty of ways in which people used to measure the earth, how they mapped out each and every region and geographical nuance of the world. There were many challenges in the world that people had to face in order to accurately map out each and every location across the globe. Some spent their entire lives devoted to the cause, and they definitely helped with the process of it all. Their contributions did not go unnoticed, as they were always built upon and advanced over the years. Now, however, we have been able to map the world on such an advanced level that we no longer strive for a more accurate representation of the landscape. Now, however, we strive to map social and biological changes and shifts over time. One such new kind of mapping component is that of disease surveillance. Now that we have information about how many people live in each geographical location, there are many ways we can track health changes in the world.

Disease surveillance is crucial in our interconnected world

In todays increasingly interconnected world, the threats posed by disease and illness are growing. Someone can get on a plane in Africa or Asia, and carry a potentially deadly disease halfway across the world. This has happened before with MDR-TB (multi drug resistant tuberculosis). There was a case when a young man got on a plane with MDR-TB and traveled from the US to Europe, unaware that he was carrying this deadly illness, and putting hundreds of people at risk.

The interconnectedness of the world today is one of the key reasons why disease and outbreak surveillance is so important. Organizations and institutions throughout the world work daily to keep track of various disease outbreaks and report these outbreaks to the community. By doing this, people can be aware of health threats in their area and take the proper precautions. A great example of this is an outbreak of salmonella tied to a specific brand of spinach. This information is collected by healthcare workers and communicated to the public. This type of quick communication of important information saves lives. But what about communicating this information beyond just your own community? In today’s world, people are coming and going from places all around the world on a daily basis. We are past the era when you can simply report a disease outbreak to your local community, a disease outbreak can potentially have a global impact.