recommended reading

Key Military Health Surveillance Website Was Down for Nearly a Month

Steve Cukrov/

The website of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center -- which provides weekly summaries of flu cases within the Defense Department, among other things -- was shut down for much of January due to “technical difficulties” the Center declined to identify.

The AFHSC website also hosts the Defense Medical Surveillance System, which provides up-to-date and historical data on diseases and medical events, and the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System, which tracks diseases in 35 countries and  hosts monthly reports focused on key medical topics.

The “website has experienced technical difficulties,” Navy Capt. Kevin Russell, AFHSC director, said in a statement. “As a result, the website was taken offline to resolve these issues,” which were fixed last week. “AFHSC clearly posted a telephone number and email address at the site to contact us for materials and information regularly housed on the site,” he said.

“As a matter of policy and for reasons of operations security, the Department of Defense, under which the AFHSC operates, does not comment on the specific technical details involving administration of its networks, or external Internet sites,” he added.

Dr. Remington Nevin, a former Army epidemiologist who is now a student in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, criticized the lack of openness.

“The mission of AFHSC is to provide timely data and analysis to military health decision makers and, by extension, to their civilian overseers and the public,” he said. “The seeming acceptance of a month-long outage in AFHSC's primary method of dissemination of this information is inconsistent with this mission, and suggests a troubling absence of transparency within the military public health community.”

Get the Nextgov iPhone app to keep up with government technology news.

(Image via Steve Cukrov/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.