is a network of travel/tropical medicine clinics initiated
in 1995 by the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM)
and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Surveillance
of morbidity and mortality in travelers serves a number of
purposes. Firstly, it provides information to assist
in the prevention of morbidity in travelers. Secondly
travelers can serve as sentinels for changes that affect the
morbidity and mortality of local populations. Thirdly,
travelers can be a factor in the spread of diseases in their
countries of origin. GeoSentinel is based on the concept
that these clinics are ideally situated
detect geographic and temporal trends in morbidity among travelers,
immigrants and refugees. Clinics can be affiliated with
in one of two ways, as a GeoSentinel Site, or in a more informal
manner as a GeoSentinel Network Member.
an international communications and data collection
network of travel medicine clinics on all continents
(except Antarctica), including real-time web-conferencing
geographic and temporal trends in infectious diseases
among travelers, immigrants, and refugees.
syndromic surveillance that may herald pandemic influenza,
return of SARS, or bio-terrorist events.
yet to be described emerging infectious diseases among
- Disseminate relevant information and suggested response
options for new or acutely emerging infections, including
potential bio-terrorism threats to the network of GeoSentinel
providers, the larger network of ISTM providers, and
to collaborating networks.
A two-tiered approach to surveillance is used. Through
GeoSentinel Sites, surveillance involves ongoing monitoring
of sentinel data from globally dispersed sites that allows
linking of travel-related infections with geographic
destinations. Through GeoSentinel Network Members,
surveillance involves informal communication from participating
Capabilities: These include urgent requests
for enhanced surveillance and notification in outbreak
as well as electronic
of alerts using the network to assist in connections
with appropriate local or national public health
or health care
groups. Responses can involve GeoSentinel Sites, the larger number of GeoSentinel Network Members, 1500 medical providers on the ISTM listserv (TravelMed), or more than 3000 ISTM providers in close to 90 countries.
Of Partnerships: A major achievement of GeoSentinel
has been the development of a continually expanding partnership
among ISTM and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and health-care providers around the world.