Stephen B. Thacker and Guthrie S. Birkhead

in Field Epidemiology

Third edition

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195313802
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863952 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses the acquisition of information for use in the public health arena, called surveillance. Public health surveillance is a basic tool of the field epidemiologist, providing the scientific and factual database essential to informed decision-making and to the conduct of public health prevention and control programs. Surveillance is based on morbidity, mortality, and risk factor data, often from multiple sources. Some data, such as vital statistics, are collected primarily for other uses; other data, such as behavioral risk factors, are collected specifically for the surveillance system.

Keywords: information acquisition; field epidemiology; public health; surveillance data

Chapter.  10228 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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