Objective: The purpose of this research was to assess to current status of zoonotic disease biosurveillance in the United States.
Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 53 state zoonotic disease program representatives in the United States and Puerto Rico. The questionnaire assessed the structure of zoonotic disease biosurveillance in the respective states, current biosurveillance activities such as testing arthropods for pathogens, information provided to local public health on zoonotic disease, and opinions of the current state of zoonotic disease surveillance. A website assessment was conducted to identify fact sheets that are provided by states on vectors of diseases of public health significance. A Model Zoonotic Disease program was developed to help guide local public health on developing local biosurveillance programs.
Results: One or more representatives from total of 36/53 (68%) states and Puerto Rico responded to the survey. Eighty-five percent of the responding states have programs designed to track zoonotic diseases. Of the responding states, 52% test arthropods for pathogens of public health concern. Responding states stated that they disagree that their states are currently doing enough to prevent known or emerging zoonotic diseases.
Conclusions: The current landscape of zoonotic disease surveillance does not proportionally reflect the distribution of zoonotic diseases. All states would be expected to have a designated program to respond to zoonotic diseases and conduct surveillance. In order to align with current expectations of biosurveillance, states should develop better state programs or provide locals with the means to develop their own programs.