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Official Press Release

Contact: Carol Schriber
919-733-9190

Date: March 31, 2008

North Carolina Works with CDC to Fight Public Health Disasters

State and national public health officials work together to keep N.C. safer

RALEIGH – North Carolina is better prepared to deal with potential public health disasters like pandemic influenza outbreaks and hurricane catastrophes because it partners with BioSense (www.cdc.gov/biosense), a national public health surveillance program hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Public health surveillance systems receive data from hospitals and healthcare facilities and transform them into useful information for officials who track diseases and other public health issues. The state’s public health surveillance system, NC DETECT (North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool),  has proven valuable for tracking public health emergencies such as communicable disease outbreaks, chemical fires and hurricanes.

NC DETECT provides data from over 100 hospital emergency departments, so NC DETECT’s participation in BioSense allows the CDC to view a more complete picture of our nation’s health. North Carolina has also collaborated with other public health partners to improve health officials’ ability to track and analyze health information. 

With BioSense in place, North Carolina public health leaders anticipate a faster and better-coordinated response to public health emergencies. By using shared real-time information, BioSense helps state, local and federal health officials across the country monitor, detect and coordinate response and recovery efforts for emerging health outbreaks like influenza. BioSense also helps public health officials investigate natural disasters while ensuring patients’ privacy.

Dr. Lana Deyneka, public health epidemiologist and N.C. Syndromic Surveillance coordinator, finds BioSense access to the Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense data particularly useful because the NC DETECT system does not collect data from these sources. Additionally, “the BioSense Influenza Module is often used by epidemiologists for the prompt analysis of the different data sources’ information,” said Dr. Deyneka.

NC DETECT is supported by both the CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement and BioSense. The system is managed by the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  This collaboration between CDC and NC DETECT supports emergency preparedness initiatives at state and national levels.

For more information about NC DETECT, visit the website at www.ncdetect.org. For more information about BioSense, which is administered by the CDC as part of the National Center for Public Health Informatics, see www.cdc.gov/biosense or email BioSenseUsers@cdc.gov.

 

 

 

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