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Learning from LMICs: Best Practices for Leveraging Sentinel Surveillance Systems to Track the US COVID-19 Pandemic

Citation

Root, Heather; Boyce, Ross M.; & Robinson, Whitney R. (2020). Learning from LMICs: Best Practices for Leveraging Sentinel Surveillance Systems to Track the US COVID-19 Pandemic. BMJ Global Health, 5(12), e004685. PMCID: PMC7780421

Abstract

► With limited treatment options, no vaccine and a chronically underfunded public health infrastructure, the USA is confronting the COVID-19 pandemic hampered by adversities typically faced by low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs).
► LMICs long ago confronted and adapted to similar difficulties by pioneering ‘sentinel surveillance’ systems.
► Sentinel surveillance is the study of disease rates in a specific cohort to estimate trends in a larger population.
► When properly implemented, sentinel surveillance systems offer an effective method for leveraging limited resources to monitor disease spread.
► In this viewpoint, we describe five key features that characterise the most successful sentinel surveillance programmes and argue that rigorously designed and thoughtfully implemented sentinel surveillance systems are a cost-effective and logistically viable strategy to monitor local SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the contemporary USA.
► We use the example of HIV sentinel surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa during the early decades of the AIDS epidemic as an exemplar.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004685

Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type

Regular

Year Published

2020

Journal Title

BMJ Global Health

Author(s)

Root, Heather
Boyce, Ross M.
Robinson, Whitney R.

PMCID

PMC7780421

Continent/Country

United States of America
LMICs

State

Nonspecific