Kansas Infectious Disease Surveillance

Overview


What is infectious disease surveillance?

In addition to routine disease monitoring, surveillance is critical during the investigation of disease outbreaks or other public health emergencies.

What is an electronic disease surveillance system?

The current Kansas electronic disease surveillance system (“EpiTrax”) is a secure, web-based database for reporting infectious disease data. Through this data, we can monitor and track diseases in Kansas. Information about Individual cases of disease is reported to KDHE by local health departments, hospitals, laboratories and private physicians by telephone, fax, or entered directly through the internet.

Through disease surveillance, the overall health of Kansans can be described, providing an accurate and timely picture of infectious disease trends, as well as the overall burden of disease in Kansas. This enables public health programs to better implement disease prevention, education, investigation and control. The de-identified information that is reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helps provide an understanding of the burden of disease at the national level.

Current Status and Future Plans

The threat of biological terrorism has heightened the need for monitoring and investigation of diseases. In response, KDHE is developing a new electronic disease surveillance system that will provide greater functionality, enhanced investigation assistance, and will be available to a larger number of public health partners. This four stage project was launched in October of 2006 and will be completed in the summer of 2010, funded through several federal grants for public health emergency preparedness. The core system is now used by local health departments. Other functions will be added to the system with each phase, including patient investigation tools and outbreak management, as well as information on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), HIV and Lead poisoning. New user groups will be added as the system development progresses.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding infectious disease surveillance in the State of Kansas, or the new electronic disease surveillance system, please contact: Jodie B Smith at jbsmith@kdheks.gov.

Vacant, Director, Disease Surveillance and Data Management,
Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Response