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Introduction to Statistical Methods for Biosurveillance by Ronald D. Fricker

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Situational Awareness for Biosurveillance

He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may be cast.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

Situational awareness (SA) is one of the two main functions of a biosurveillance system. As Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21) states, biosurveillance is “the process of active data-gathering with appropriate analysis and interpretation of biosphere data that might relate to disease activity and threats to human or animal health – whether infectious, toxic, metabolic, or otherwise, and regardless of intentional or natural origin – in order to achieve early warning of health threats, early detection of health events, ...

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