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Tracking symptoms of respiratory diseases online can give a picture of community health

By Mvuyo Makhasi, Data Manager, Center for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases
Cheryl Cohen, Co-head of the Centre for Respiratory Disease and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases
Sibongile Walaza, Medical Epidemiologist at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and Lecturer at the School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand
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Respiratory diseases are highly infectious and cause a significant health burden. Disease surveillance is the bedrock of public health responses to outbreaks or epidemics caused by these diseases. Effective surveillance gives an indication of the scale of the problem. But traditional disease surveillance is mostly limited to health facilities or surveillance sites, where doctors and nurses identify cases and report to national authorities. Here, a team from South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases talks about another useful tool: community-based surveillance.

The Conversation


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