The economics of improving global infectious disease surveillance

de Vries, Linda and Koopmans, Marion and Morton, Alec and van Baal, Pieter (2021) The economics of improving global infectious disease surveillance. BMJ Global Health, 6 (9). e006597. ISSN 2059-7908 (

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With the global increase in population density, urbanisation, and global travel and trade, the threat of widespread outbreaks of infectious diseases has increased relentlessly,1 as evidenced by recent examples of COVID-19 and Ebola. Further, although the most important causes of death shifted to non-communicable diseases, in some poorer parts of the world, communicable diseases remain the most important cause of death.2 Crucial in the prevention of and reaction to these threats is early detection, which demands an infectious disease surveillance system that can signal unusual events. How to set up and improve surveillance and how to prioritise investments are questions that need input from different scientific disciplines. Here, we focus on some economic considerations.