The reliability of the national reporting system rests on health care providers, laboratories, and other public health personnel. Without consistent and timely reporting, it becomes very difficult to monitor trends in disease patterns, to detect unusual occurrences or pockets of disease, and to assess the effectiveness of public health interventions to eradicate or contain disease. Data reported by the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories are summarized in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which can be accessed on-line at www.cdc.ggy/epg/mmwr/mmwr.html.
"The usefulness of public health surveillance data depends on its uniformity, simplicity, and timeliness." 1 What follows here is a summary of the case definitions for each of the specified nationally reportable diseases from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly (MMWR) update on reportable diseases.1 These case definitions establish uniform reporting criteria and are subject to revision. For the most up-to-date information, go to wwwcdcggy/epo/mm
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