Handbook Guide to Surveillance, Reporting and Control

The Guide to Surveillance and Reporting assists local boards of health with specific surveillance, response, and reporting responsibilities for infectious diseases reportable to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

About this guide

Infectious diseases are a continuing threat to the public’s health. They cause illness, suffering, and death, and they place an enormous financial burden on society. Although some infectious diseases have been controlled by modern advances, diseases are constantly emerging or re-emerging. State public health officials rely on local boards of health (LBOH), health care providers, laboratories, and other public health personnel to report the occurrence of reportable diseases. Without such data, trends cannot be accurately monitored, unusual occurrences of diseases (such as outbreaks) cannot be detected and appropriately addressed, and the effectiveness of control and prevention activities cannot be easily evaluated.

The Guide to Surveillance and Reporting was developed to assist local boards of health with specific surveillance, response, and reporting responsibilities for infectious diseases reportable to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Each chapter is disease specific and contains general information about the disease, as well as control recommendations and reporting requirements. We appreciate the critical importance of the efforts of local boards of health to investigate and control diseases in their communities and strive to provide the most up to date materials to assist in that process.

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