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Disease Surveillance
Public health surveillance is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data about a health-related event for use in public health action to reduce morbidity and mortality and to improve health. Public health data can be used in a variety of ways for the prevention and control of disease. This data can be used to monitor the health of the community and to detect large-scale public health events such as a bioterrorism event, pandemic influenza, or an outbreak of disease. The NH Communicable Disease Surveillance Section maintains a number of surveillance systems to monitor the health of NH citizens.

How Surveillance Works

Conducting surveillance relies heavily on communication between health care providers, laboratories, other partners, and the Communicable Disease Control and Surveillance Sections. We receive reports of communicable disease every day from laboratories and health care providers and we collect information on thousands of reported cases of disease every year. Some reports are provided to us through mail, fax, or phone call and some reports are transmitted automatically electronically from hospitals or laboratories. All information is handled maintaining strict confidentiality standards.

Our Surveillance Systems

Reportable Disease Surveillance System – Reportable diseases are conditions that must be reported by clinicians and laboratories and is mandated by RSA 141-C. These diseases are generally conditions that are either communicable or pose a risk to people if control measures are not taken. These reports of disease are provided weekly to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be included in national counts of infectious diseases.

Syndromic Surveillance System – The Communicable Disease Surveillance Section in conjunction with the Health Statistics and Data Management Section maintains several monitoring systems for non-specific illnesses such as fever, gastrointestinal illnesses, respiratory illnesses, and rashes. This type of surveillance is called "syndromic" because it tracks symptoms that are associated with infectious diseases rather than tracking specific infectious diseases. This information is collected as part of the Bioterrorism Surveillance Program.

Influenza Surveillance System – Influenza is not a reportable disease in New Hampshire, but surveillance systems are in place to help determine the extent of illness and current circulating virus types.

Consumer Food Complaint System – The Communicable Disease Surveillance Section in conjunction with the Food Protection Section tracks and responds to complaints related to food.

To Request Communicable Disease Surveillance Data, call (603) 271-0279 or fill out the Data Request Form Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol and e-mail to erdaly@dhhs.state.nh.us or fax to (603) 271-0545. See our data request policy Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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