chapter  27
Spatial Health Surveillance
ByAna Corbera´n-Vallet and Andrew B. Lawson
Pages 20

Spatial epidemiology focuses on the analysis of health data that are georeferenced, often with the objective of describing and analyzing geographic variations in disease in consideration of explanatory variables such as demographic, environmental, and socioeconomic factors. Consequently, the retrospective analysis of disease maps is a major focus. However, there are situations where real-time modeling and prediction play a crucial part. This is the case of public health surveillance, which is defined as (Thacker and Berkelman, 1992)

the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of these data to those who need to know. The final link of the surveillance chain is the application of these data to prevention and control.