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Federal legislation aimed at strengthening the federal government’s monitoring and reporting of infectious diseases – most recently the H1N1 flu outbreak, was introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman on Friday.
Bingaman’s “Strengthening America’s Public Health System Act” seeks to improve electronic disease surveillance and reporting so that all state and local health departments and public health laboratories can readily and seamlessly receive, monitor and report infectious diseases.
It also would help strengthen national surveillance and reporting of infectious diseases and other conditions of public health importance, he said in a news release.
“Currently, many local public health departments continue to rely on paper-based systems and have not yet fully benefited from new technologies that could improve their work objectives. This bill would help state and local health departments make necessary upgrades to help them enhance their surveillance of infectious diseases and quickly respond to outbreaks,” Bingaman said.
Specifically, the bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to do the following:
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