BOX 2-1

Role of Disease Surveillance

  1. Identify acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) outbreaks and individual acute cases and measure incidence

    • Respond to outbreaks by

      • Identifying cases

      • Mobilizing appropriate resources to provide preventive services to eliminate or minimize further transmission

    • Develop accurate estimates of the burden of acute hepatitis B and hepatitis C in United States

  1. Identify chronic cases of hepatitis B and C and measure prevalence

    • Develop accurate estimates of the burden of chronic disease in United States

    • Prevent secondary cases

      • Hepatitis B: Education, vaccination, and screening

      • Hepatitis C: Education, harm reduction, and screening

  1. Link cases to appropriate services, including medical management

  2. Evaluate current practices and prevention efforts

various sources. Its findings are based on its review of the literature and on information gathered through surveys of and direct contact with professionals working in this field.

Much of the information gathered through surveys involved state-level and city-level public-health department staff who were working on programs funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Forty-nine states have a cooperative agreement with CDC that funds a coordinator who conducts viral-hepatitis prevention activities, such as health-care provider and consumer education, integration of viral-hepatitis prevention services into health-care and public-health settings, and development of state viral-hepatitis prevention plans. Although the cooperative agreements do not include funds for viral-hepatitis surveillance, the coordinators are good sources of information about surveillance activities being conducted in each jurisdiction. CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) performed a brief survey of the CDC-funded hepatitis C coordinators in 2006 to gather information about viral-hepatitis surveillance activities. At the request of the committee, CDC again surveyed the coordinators (now called adult viral-hepatitis prevention coordinators, AVHPCs) in April 2009. As part of a national assessment of viral-hepatitis surveillance initiatives, the National

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