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  • Establishing priorities for national communicable disease surveillance: INTERNATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

The World Health Organization (WHO) is interested in all communicable diseases to some extent; however, cholera, plague and yellow fever are subject to international health regulations. Canada must collect and report information about cases of these diseases as an international duty. Five points were awarded to the three diseases. Five points were awarded to measles because of the provincial and territorial commitment to eliminate measles in Canada by the year 2005, and to poliomyelitis and acute flaccid paralysis because of the global polio eradication initiative.


‘Other sector interest’ is defined as the importance of ‘other sector involvement’ in disease control. The factor is divided into three levels: high, moderate and low. A score of 0 is as­signed if the disease is not influenced by ‘other sector involve­ment’. HIV was awarded a score of 5 to reflect the work of the Canadian Blood Services, whereby HIV-contaminated blood has been excluded from the donor supply, virtually eliminat­ing transmission by this route. The subcommittee gave 3 points to diseases directly prevented by the work of Agricul­ture Canada, environmental agencies, the Canadian Food In­spection Agency and other federal food regulatory agencies to control foodborne and waterborne diseases by the inspection of animals and food production facilities.
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Incidence is defined as the number of new cases reported each year, and is calculated as a five-year average for the time interval, 1992 to 1996. The variable is classified into quintiles and assigned 1 through 5 points: a score of 1 is assigned to cases which number 1 to 2999 cases/year; a score of 2 is assigned when the incidence is 3000 to 5999 cases/year; a score of 3 when the incidence is 6000 to 8999/year; 4 points are assigned when the incidence is 9,000 to 11,999/year, and 5 points are assigned when the number of cases reported equals or exceeds 12,000/year. Zero points are assigned if no cases have been reported. Chickenpox and genital chlamydia were each assigned 5 points.


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