FAQ: COVID-19 Information and Surveillance
Case surveillance information are helpful for monitoring nationwide traits in illness incidence (the variety of new instances of a illness in a inhabitants at a sure time interval). Limitations of utilizing case surveillance information to know the epidemiology (who, what, the place, when, how) of COVID-19 embrace the next:
First, case surveillance information don’t symbolize the true burden of COVID-19 in the US. Many individuals contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 don’t search medical care or don’t get examined. The knowledge collected is likely to be restricted if individuals are unavailable or unwilling to supply further data or if medical information are unavailable for information extraction.
Second, a lot of the case reviews captured by well being departments are primarily based on laboratory reviews that normally include restricted data on the affected person. Due to the quantity of instances, most well being departments will not be in a position to conduct investigations of each case to acquire further data. Consequently, the vast majority of case reviews are lacking information on affected person demographics, signs, underlying well being situations, traits of hospitalizations resembling ventilator use, and different components resembling latest journey historical past. Due to lacking information, analyses of those information components are seemingly an underestimate of the true incidence.
Third, it’s troublesome to seize asymptomatic instances via case surveillance. People who find themselves asymptomatic are unlikely to hunt testing until they’re recognized via lively screening (e.g., contact tracing), and investigation of symptomatic individuals is prioritized.
When illness quantity is excessive and a restricted variety of information components are captured on every reported case, case surveillance information can be utilized to evaluate inhabitants burden, monitor the unfold of the illness, monitor will increase and reduces in instances in affiliation with mitigation methods, and research chosen demographics resembling age, intercourse, race and ethnicity, and geography. Scientific particulars and different traits about individuals with COVID-19 will be higher assessed via particular research. CDC conducts these particular epidemiologic research to raised perceive danger components, resembling underlying situations and disabilities, which may put folks at extra danger for severe an infection and research the scientific course of sickness with information on hospitalization and coverings.