COVID-19 Surveillance: Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted, and Not Everything That Can Be Counted Counts

This journal article examines the components of an ideal surveillance system and assesses the effectiveness of COVID-19 surveillance in North Carolina and around the world.

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Disease Tracking and Surveillance

Disease surveillance helps us detect disease cases, understand burden of disease and risk factors, provide the basis for timely and informed decision-making, guide control measures, and monitor impacts. Since the onset of COVID-19, surveillance efforts have worked to provide real-time tracking and forecast data, despite challenges with diagnostic capacity, case reporting, insufficient contact tracing, and fragmented data systems. COVID-19 has highlighted the need to invest in modern data systems, expand and skill up the workforce, and ensure data reporting and interpretation retain high ethical and epidemiological standards.