For the most part, providers, including physicians and laboratories, are required by state laws to report health conditions. For some communicable diseases, this type of passive surveillance of notifiable diseases helps identify outbreaks, epidemics, pandemics, and possible bioterrorism.
Based on your research and understanding, answer the following questions:
- Has the focus on disease prevention and health promotion shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases? Why or why not?
- Will a diversion in focus from infectious to chronic diseases leave the United States and other parts of the world at greater risk for pandemics or bioterrorism? Why or why not?
- How do risk factors and prevention strategies differ from infectious and chronic diseases?
- When thinking about chronic diseases, how do you perceive the purpose and utility of passive surveillance as an epidemiological tool? Explain with an example of a chronic disease surveillance system. Would you advocate the reporting of select chronic conditions? Why? Give reasons for your answer.