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Cutting-Edge Hepatitis Surveillance Tools Enhance Reporting in Florida

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

June 19, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

CUTTING-EDGE HEPATITIS SURVEILLANCE TOOLS ENHANCE REPORTING IN FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE—Hepatitis C in Florida continues to be a public health concern requiring a comprehensive statewide approach. Since 2011, as part of an enhanced surveillance project for hepatitis, the Florida Department of Health has developed surveillance tools for hepatitis – an approach that puts Florida at the forefront of surveillance for identification of reported hepatitis in the U.S.

The department has developed tools to take advantage of the availability of electronic laboratory results and has since processed approximately 650,000 electronic laboratory results for hepatitis in 2014. This enhancement has improved the quality of reporting, while reducing reporting time across the state. Florida’s ability to more accurately capture hepatitis cases that were previously unidentified provides a clearer picture of the burden of hepatitis in Florida.

As the department continues to educate, assess, and ultimately prevent hepatitis morbidity throughout the state, further enhancements to the hepatitis surveillance system will target improved linkage of hepatitis clients to care.

In an effort to educate the public on hepatitis C, the Florida Department of Health has launched a new webpage to provide educational materials regarding this disease. The webpage contains background information on the disease, downloadable broadcast-quality video and a “frequently asked questions” section. The department encourages Florida residents learn about hepatitis C and to take the proper precautions to protect themselves.

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The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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