Surveillance | Preparedness

SWNPHD is committed to promoting healthy communities, families and individuals through communicable disease surveillance. The intention of surveillance is to identify, promptly investigate, and monitor each incident of a reported communicable disease. Timely recognition of the disease within the community enables the proper implementation of prevention and control activities. This action can contain the spread of the disease before the illness becomes a major public health crisis.

A good surveillance system also identifies emerging infectious diseases, acts of bioterrorism, and potential influenza pandemics, as well as providing a basis for evaluating the outcome of public health prevention programs.

Communicable disease can be identified as by being contracted from the human living environment, including disease passed from person to person, food or water, animals, or insects.

School Surveillance Program:
This program tracks and reports the absenteeism of ill students for all eight counties in the health district throughout the school year. School surveillance is done on a weekly basis and is reported to Nebraska Health and Human Services every Wednesday. Tracking of specific symptoms and illnesses in children enables public health to determine if there is an outbreak or a public health emergency in a timely manner.

Hospital Surveillance:
This program weekly tracks influenza like illness through the five hospitals located within the health district. Their admissions are reported to Nebraska Health and Human Services every Monday and help public health monitor influenza outbreaks.

Sentinel Surveillance:
SWNPHD recruits a sentinel provider in our health district. This program weekly tracks influenza like illness with a local healthcare provider. The physician reports all influenza cases seen in their clinic to the Center for Disease Control.

Other Resources: