This article is part of the supplement: Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS): an update for 2009

Open Access Review

The AFHSC-Division of GEIS Operations Predictive Surveillance Program: a multidisciplinary approach for the early detection and response to disease outbreaks

Clara J Witt1*, Allen L Richards23, Penny M Masuoka3, Desmond H Foley4, Anna L Buczak5, Lillian A Musila67, Jason H Richardson8, Michelle G Colacicco-Mayhugh4, Leopoldo M Rueda4, Terry A Klein9, Assaf Anyamba10, Jennifer Small10, Julie A Pavlin8, Mark M Fukuda1, Joel Gaydos1, Kevin L Russell1 and the AFHSC-GEIS Predictive Surveillance Writing Group1101112131415161723456789

Author Affiliations

1 Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

2 Department of Rickettsial Diseases Research Program, Naval Medical Research Center, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

3 Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA

4 Division of Entomology, Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

5 Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723, USA

6 Kenya Medical Research Institute Centre for Virus Research, Post Office Box 54628, Nairobi, Kenya

7 U.S. Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Nairobi Unit 64109, APO AE 09831-4109, USA

8 Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, 315/6 Rajvithi Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10400

9 Force Health Protection and Preventive Medicine, 65th Medical Brigade, Unit 15281, APO AP 96205-5281, USA (Republic of Korea

10 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences Branch, GIMMS Group, Code 614.4, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

11 Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Suite 1100, Portsmouth, VA 23708-2103, USA

12 U.S. Department of Agriculture-Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary Entomology, 1600/1700 Southwest 23rd Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA

13 Naval Medical Research Unit Number 3, Extension of Ramses Street, Adjacent to Abbassia Fever Hospital, Postal Code 11517, Cairo, Egypt

14 U.S. Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya, Kisumu Unit 8900, Department of Entomology and Vector-Borne Diseases, Box 6814, APO AE 09831, USA

15 Naval Medical Research Unit Number 2, Komplek P2M/PLP – LITBANGKES JI. Percetakan Negara Number 29, Jakarta, 10560, Indonesia

16 U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Centro Medico Naval “CEMENA,” Av. Venezuela CDRA 36, Callo 2, Lima, Peru

17 Division of Preventive Medicine, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2011, 11(Suppl 2):S10  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-S2-S10

Published: 4 March 2011


The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Division of Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System Operations (AFHSC-GEIS) initiated a coordinated, multidisciplinary program to link data sets and information derived from eco-climatic remote sensing activities, ecologic niche modeling, arthropod vector, animal disease-host/reservoir, and human disease surveillance for febrile illnesses, into a predictive surveillance program that generates advisories and alerts on emerging infectious disease outbreaks. The program’s ultimate goal is pro-active public health practice through pre-event preparedness, prevention and control, and response decision-making and prioritization. This multidisciplinary program is rooted in over 10 years experience in predictive surveillance for Rift Valley fever outbreaks in Eastern Africa. The AFHSC-GEIS Rift Valley fever project is based on the identification and use of disease-emergence critical detection points as reliable signals for increased outbreak risk. The AFHSC-GEIS predictive surveillance program has formalized the Rift Valley fever project into a structured template for extending predictive surveillance capability to other Department of Defense (DoD)-priority vector- and water-borne, and zoonotic diseases and geographic areas. These include leishmaniasis, malaria, and Crimea-Congo and other viral hemorrhagic fevers in Central Asia and Africa, dengue fever in Asia and the Americas, Japanese encephalitis (JE) and chikungunya fever in Asia, and rickettsial and other tick-borne infections in the U.S., Africa and Asia.