Role of community-based cohorts for uncovering the iceberg of disease

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Sometimes in literature, less is more. Sadly, unlike fiction, for strengthening our understanding the epidemiology of infectious diseases we need to uncover as much of the 7/8ths of the iceberg that is under water. Traditionally we have tended to mainly focus on studying the more severe cases resulting in deaths and hospitalisations as these pose substantial burden on healthcare services and the economy. 1 However, as has been shown in the past year with SARS CoV-2, it is important to also look at asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases of infectious diseases to understand disease transmission, immunity and the natural history of disease including sequelae. 2The non-severe presentations of respiratory viruses like influenza and RSV still lead to a substantial burden on clinical services, inappropriate use of antibiotics and work place / school absenteeism that has a substantial economic impact that is not visible and thus goes unrecognised by both the public as well as policymakers.3
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e740-e741
JournalThe Lancet Global Health
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2021

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