Application of Geographic Information System (GIS) in Infectious Disease Surveillance And Control

Author: Jianguo Xiao

Primary Advisor: Jiajie Zhang, PhD (co-author)

Committee Members: Robert Hunter, MD, PhD (co-author); Jack W. Smith, MD, PhD

Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.

In recent years the morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases are rising in the world as well as in America. Emerging and re-emerging infectious disease is a potential threat to the public. The surveillance of and control of infectious diseases are important to public health. Geographic Information System (GIS) provides a very useful technology for the surveillance and intervention in infectious diseases. The application of GIS in different types of infectious diseases is reviewed in this paper. GIS can be used in the location and the determination of the distribution of the infectious diseases. It can also be applied to determine risk factors and at risk populations, uncover disease transmission mechanisms, decision-making support, intervention, control and prevention of infectious disease. In addition, other technologies are reviewed such as Geographic Position Survey (GPS) and Remote Sensing that can enhance the capabilities of GIS. The future development of the technology in infectious disease surveillance and control is discussed.