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Bringing together emerging and endemic zoonoses surveillance: shared challenges and a common solution

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    Rights statement: This journal is © 2012 The Royal Society This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2872-2880
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1604
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2012


Early detection of disease outbreaks in human and animal populations is crucial to the effective surveillance of emerging infectious diseases. However, there are marked geographical disparities in capacity for early detection of outbreaks, which limit the effectiveness of global surveillance strategies. Linking surveillance approaches for emerging and neglected endemic zoonoses, with a renewed focus on existing disease problems in developing countries, has the potential to overcome several limitations and to achieve additional health benefits. Poor reporting is a major constraint to the surveillance of both emerging and endemic zoonoses, and several important barriers to reporting can be identified: (i) a lack of tangible benefits when reports are made; (ii) a lack of capacity to enforce regulations; (iii) poor communication among communities, institutions and sectors; and (iv) complexities of the international regulatory environment. Redirecting surveillance efforts to focus on endemic zoonoses in developing countries offers a pragmatic approach that overcomes some of these barriers and provides support in regions where surveillance capacity is currently weakest. In addition, this approach addresses immediate health and development problems, and provides an equitable and sustainable mechanism for building the culture of surveillance and the core capacities that are needed for all zoonotic pathogens, including emerging disease threats.

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