One of the most controversial topics I have promoted the use of GIS for is the surveillance of natural resources, people, disease and the most significant threats to public health, food and water supplies, and our natural resources. This is not a popular topic. In most medical settings, even when a disease as deadly as the current Ebola shows its face, delving too deeply into more topics is too much for some.
What Ebola points out to us, or reminds us about for those devoted to public health surveillance, is just how complex public health monitoring can be. Rapid assessment tools (like NPHG) are imperative to developing the best surveillance programs.
Still, to assist in surveillance, it helps to have insights into how other such events have happened.
I produced this pinterest page, which is a collection of about 600 items that I developed and used to teach the past, present and future of terrorism/bioterrorism, epidemic outbreak patterns, disease diffusion patterns, and causative or related human behaviors. I also used spatial research methods to describe and define many these past disease patterns. One major advantage to this approach is that it helps me determine true causes for many of these events, even without direct microbiological evidence (i.e. my cholera thesis).
The 600 collages, pictures, documents, news items, also enable us to compare past events with those of today.
And they demonstrate why we need an effective spatial surveillance program.
This site– http://www.pinterest.com/altonenb/bioterrorism/ — reviews: past and current epidemics, disease patterns, spatial and ecological analyses of diseases, the history of terrorism, livestock disease diffusion, potentials for agriterrorism, foodways related emergent events, origins of the first chemical (biochemical) warfare in modern history, the contributions nations and industries have made to our programs, and what we should do to counter and defeat future events. About half of this information has not been published in or reviewed by other sources.