Yale University

Public health intelligence and the detection of potential pandemics.

TitlePublic health intelligence and the detection of potential pandemics.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFrench, Martin, and Eric Mykhalovskiy
JournalSociology of health & illness
Date Published2013 Feb
KeywordsCanada, Data Mining, Disaster Planning, Disease Outbreaks, Humans, Pandemics, Public Health Practice, Public Health Surveillance, Risk Management, Social Support, Sociology, Medical
AbstractThis article considers contemporary developments in public health intelligence (PHI), especially their focus on health events of pandemic potential. It argues that the sociological study of PHI can yield important insights for the sociology of pandemics. PHI aims to detect health events as (or even before) they unfold. Whilst its apparatuses envelope traditional public health activities, such as epidemiological surveillance, they increasingly extend to non-traditional public health activities such as data-mining in electronically mediated social networks. With a focus on non-traditional PHI activities, the article first situates the study of PHI in relation to the sociology of public health. It then discusses the conceptualisation and actualisation of pandemics, reflecting on how public health professionals and organisations must equip themselves with diverse allies in order to realise the claims they make about pandemic phenomena. Finally, using the analytic tools of actor-network theory, sites for future empirical research that can contribute to the sociology of pandemics are suggested.
Alternate JournalSociol Health Illn

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