Communicable disease control and prevention is an essential function of our health department. Outbreaks are investigated and control measures implemented, vaccines (including flu and pneumonia vaccine for seniors) are administered and educational and enforcement activities are conducted to prevent the spread of disease.
To more effectively track reportable diseases, a statewide sophisticated system of data collection and analysis called CDRS (Communicable Disease Reporting System) was developed by the N.J. State Department of Health and Senior Services. The CDRS creates an interdisciplinary departmental approach to disease identification, analysis and containment. Staff can access CDRS data to collaborate on disease prevention activities with a broader public health perspective.
Some communicable diseases are foodborne, and the most commonly known, such as salmonella and E.coli are caused by a bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 76 million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States. The great majority of these cases are mild and cause symptoms for only a day or two.
The most frequently reported diseases in Harrison are hepatitis C and hepatitis B, followed by intestinal diseases, such as camplylobacter and giardiasis.
As required by law, in 2008 the program reported 31 communicable diseases to the NJDHSS. This reflects a twelve percent decrease from 2007. This is directly attributable to enhanced electronic technology and the prompt reportable disease follow-up provided by this department to protect against any further spread with measures such as education, immunizations, and continued surveillance.
For additional information on communicable diseases, you can visit the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov