A Qualitative Study of State-Level Zoonotic Disease Surveillance in New England

M. Scotch, K. Mattocks, P. Rabinowitz, C. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases transmittable between animals and humans and outbreaks of these diseases in animals can signify that humans are also infected (or vice versa). Thus, communication between animal and human health agencies is critical for surveillance. Understanding how these agencies conduct surveillance and share information is important for the development of successful automated zoonotic monitoring systems. Individual interviews were conducted with 13 professionals who perform animal or human zoonotic disease surveillance in one of the New England states. Questions centred on existing surveillance methods, collaborations between animal and human health agencies, and technological and data needs. The results showed that agencies routinely communicate over suspected zoonotic disease cases, yet there are barriers preventing automated electronic linking of health data of animals and humans. These include technological barriers and barriers due to sensitivity and confidentiality of information. Addressing these will facilitate the development of electronic systems for integrating animal and human zoonotic disease surveillance data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalZoonoses and Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Qualitative research
  • State public health veterinarian
  • State veterinarian
  • Surveillance
  • Zoonoses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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