Surveillance in Alaska

AIP conducts disease surveillance in Alaska to monitor how many people get sick from certain infections. Disease surveillance focuses on diseases that are of high concern to Alaska Native people. AIP works with over 20 hospitals and clinics across Alaska to monitor these diseases. Specimens of certain disease-causing organisms are sent to the AIP laboratory for confirmation, drug-susceptibility and special testing. Measuring how much disease occurs in Alaska helps AIP and other health officials:

  • Know if a prevention program is working
  • Recognize disease outbreaks
  • Decide how to improve prevention and control activities

AIP monitors these types of invasive disease-causing bacteria:

  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Groups A and B Streptococcus
  • Helicobacter pylori

Alaska also participates in the International Circumpolar Surveillance (ICS), a surveillance network of circumpolar countries. By sharing surveillance information with other circumpolar regions, AIP receives information about new and possible infections in the Arctic.

AIP also monitors hospitalizations for lower respiratory infections in children < 3 years old in one region of southwest Alaska. This allows us to assist local healthcare providers and State of Alaska public health officials to assess and improve prevention and control activities in this area.