Transforming a wildlife disease surveillance program into a new health intelligence system

Transforming a wildlife disease surveillance program into a new health intelligence system
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Abstract

The changing interface between people, domestic animals and wildlife challenges our ability to monitor health across these different populations. In order to meet these challenges, a health intelligence system that combines traditional health surveillance approaches (e.g. collection of data about incidents of disease and hazard discovery) with information about social and environmental conditions is needed. For wildlife, the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) is adapting its core activities and focus to provide a framework that supports a new wildlife health intelligence system that is better able to inform public, livestock and wildlife health threat detection, risk assessment and risk communication. To make the transition to a health intelligence system, the CWHC has identified three areas for improvement: (i) better data management and interoperability of wildlife health information, (ii) incorporation of non-traditional information sources to complement existing surveillance data, and (iii) improved use of new tools and approaches to analyse data and communicate findings to a wide range of decision makers. This paper presents tangible examples under each of these thematic areas of how the CWHC is making the switch to a wildlife health intelligence approach.

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