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Strategic Goal 2

National Health Security Strategy (NHSS) 2023-2026

Strategic Goal 2 icon Strategic Goal 2:
Improve capabilities to safeguard and protect against an array of health security threats, including emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, especially zoonotic diseases

Siloed human, animal, plant, food, and environmental health surveillance systems can reduce data sharing capacity and hinder response. By modernizing these surveillance systems, the United States can facilitate swifter, more seamless electronic data exchange and implement a more rapid emergency response. Furthermore, expanding the collection of demographic data would allow U.S. public health surveillance systems to better capture health impacts on underserved communities and at-risk individuals.

Modernized disease surveillance systems that are interoperable within and across health sectors (e.g., human, animal, food, plant, environmental) and capable of electronically sharing, integrating, and securely exchanging analytical information in real-time is vital to rapid disease detection. The United States can work towards standardizing its surveillance systems to have a common data infrastructure capable of electronically sharing and integrating cross-system data. Modernized infrastructure will allow data to be transferred from multiple data sources closer to real-time. Recruiting and training more workers with the technical expertise needed to manage surveillance system interoperability, analyze data, and ensure electronic surveillance data is shared securely will aid in modernizing U.S. surveillance systems.

Identifying and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks in foreign countries is crucial to preventing potential epidemics from spreading to the United States. Leveraging U.S. leadership and international partnerships, in addition to sustained political, financial, and technical support, can enhance global health security capacities. Expanding international data sharing agreements and situational awareness can improve rapid detection and early warning of global threats. The United States will continue to support initiatives such as the Global Health Security Agenda to strengthen global health surveillance capacities of partner countries.

These actions will not only facilitate surveillance data sharing within human health sectors but can also be applied to integrate surveillance data across the human, animal, plant, and environmental interface. While these modernization activities may rely on steady and sustained funding sources, they will greatly enhance disease detection using a One Health approach to further protect U.S. health security.[f]

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f  One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.