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Infectious Disease Surveillance

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PPHD strives to prevent the incidence of disease by promoting healthy communities, families and individuals through communicable disease surveillance.

The purpose of surveillance is to detect, promptly investigate and monitor the occurrence and distribution of disease. Timely recognition of the disease within the community, coupled with rapid investigation, enables the proper implementation of prevention and control activities. These activities can contain the spread of disease within the population, reducing the risk of disease transmission before the illness becomes a major public health crisis. Effective surveillance systems also play a role in identifying 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 surveillance includes but is not limited to foodborne illness, vaccine-preventable diseases, influenza, vector borne diseases, and animal related diseases such as rabies and West Nile virus.? The diseases and conditions that fall under the category of communicable disease are quite diverse but can be identified by the following characteristics: they are contracted from the human living environment, including disease passed from person to person, food or water, animals, or insects.?


Human Living Environment
Reportable conditions or diseases contracted from inside the home. Examples include contracting a disease from a swimming pool or a failed septic system (human sewage), or contracting an infectious disease such as meningitis or chicken pox.

Food or WaterGlass of Water
This includes reportable disease or conditions contracted from food
(food poisoning) or contaminated drinking water.

Reportable diseases or conditions contracted from pets, domestic animals or wildlife. Examples include: contracting a disease from a pet or reptile, becoming ill from unpasteurized milk, being bitten by a rabid bat, etc.

This includes reportable diseases or conditions contracted from insects. Examples Include: diseases contracted from ticks, mosquitoes and etc.

School Surveillance

PPHD also participates in a School Absenteeism Surveillance Project . This program tracks and reports the absenteeism of ill students throughout the school year. 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.

PPHD is following the same infectious control measures as we did pre-COVID. PPHD will reach out to a school when over 10% of the student body is absent to discuss the situation and if there are concerns and possible solutions/suggestions. We are here to support the school in making their decisions and assist as needed.

Community Surveillance

Disease surveillance staff work with local hospitals, schools, nursing homes, labs, and Nebraska DHHS Epidemiology to conduct surveillance of reportable diseases, detect outbreaks, and help prevent and control the spread of disease.

Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious diseases. PPHD is offering immunizations onsite, including flu and the new COVID vaccine, as soon as it is available. VFC and insurance cover vaccines, so almost always, there won?t be a charge. To schedule a clinic, please contact pschnell@pphd.ne.gov.

For COVID-19, PPHD recommends following CDC guidance and return to school/work policies.  Helpful CDC Links:


West Nile Virus Surveillance

West Nile Surveillance involves the collection of mosquitoes, dead birds and follow-ups with persons who have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Plese click here if you would like to be redirected to the West Nile Virus home page.

Notice of Privacy Practices: This notice describes how medical information about you many be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.


Report an infectious disease 24/7

Call 308-262-5764

Updated: September 18, 2023