The Communicable Disease Prevention Division is the largest single program within the Health Department and is responsible for the detection, control and prevention of communicable diseases and bioterrorism among Kansas City residents and visitors.
This is accomplished by monitoring the occurrences of those legally mandated reportable diseases and other diseases of public health concern (surveillance or assessment) and by appropriate investigative procedures to detect disease outbreaks and potential threats to the community, so that effective control or prevention measures can be implemented.
The City Council establishes in ordinance those diseases that must be reported by physicians, veterinarians, laboratories and others, as well as the time frames.
In support of the Communicable Disease Prevention Program's "Think Outbreak" initiative, the Health Department has a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week duty officer who is available to receive information on communicable disease outbreaks or other situations that require public health intervention. These reports are promptly passed onto the most appropriate staff to respond to the situation. Communicable diseases are not restricted by political jurisdictions; therefore, the Health Department's duty officer also accepts reports for a number of surrounding Missouri and Kansas local health departments and notifies the appropriate staff of those agencies when appropriate.
The Communicable Disease Prevention Program provides education to the public along with technical assistance and epidemiological training to metropolitan area health care providers, agencies and local health departments. Through its monthly publication Community and Hospital Letter and its Morbidity Reports, the program makes current communicable disease information available to health professionals and the public. These reports are available by mail, e-mail or this Web site. Special data reports also are generated to assist community agencies and other Health Department programs in the development of grant proposals. Communicable disease annual reports, information pamphlets and guidelines for the public are available under the medical publications section on this Web site.
As part of its activities in keeping the community informed, the Communicable Disease Prevention Program is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the west-central node of the Missouri Department of Health's Health Alert Network (HAN). This notification system targets physicians, hospitals, local health departments, veterinarians, ambulance services and other first responder agencies. The west-central node serves Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Jackson, Lafayette, Platte and Ray counties. Disease alerts, warnings, recommendations and other information can be transmitted through this system to all or selected recipients.
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