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1. Define and describe the capabilities of the NEDSS.

a. The National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) is an online system that
allows healthcare professionals and government agencies to communicate about
disease patterns and coordinate national response to outbreaks. The NEDSS will provide
a new standard for transmitting data to the CDC. NEDSS will provide a universal
communication network across the United States, this will allow public health
professionals and government agencies to analyze and respond to disease outbreaks or
bioterrorism attacks at real time.
2. Why is syndromic surveillance important to disease monitoring activities?
a. Syndromic surveillance has been used for early detection of outbreaks, to follow the
size, spread, and speed of an outbreak. It can also be used to monitor disease trends
and provide information if an outbreak is happening or not. Syndromic surveillance
systems can help provide real time health data to those in charge of investigation and
follow-up of potential outbreaks.
3. What would be the uses/benefits of an OTC medications surveillance system?
a. Using data on sales of over-the- counter (OTC) medications for surveillance can lead to
early detection of infections. For example, evaluations of OTC of cold/flu medication can
be used to detected syndromic information of outbreaks of the common cold or flu.
4. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using poison control centers for surveillance of food-
borne disease outbreaks?
a. The poison control center can provide a new source of real-time data that might help
improve surveillance for food-borne disease outbreaks. However, the surveillance is
based off the syndromic definition rather than the diagnostic definition of food-borne
illness. This can lead to a broad definition that might not be related.