Public health surveillance is at a crossroads --innovation is pairing big data and genetics to understand, diagnose and treat infectious scourges that have defined world history. Handheld genetic sequencers can diagnose an infection in hours, determine where it originated and even identify what drugs will work to fight it. The technology is accessible so that diseases like the Zika virus, Ebola fever and tuberculosis can be controlled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Brazil just as quickly as in the United States. Working through the technical and ethical challenges of genomics and its big data, the Nirvana of precision public health can be achieved when these bugs can be geospatially mapped.
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