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Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

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FEDERAL PUBLIC HEALTH

Clarity in leadership is crucial in a joint federal, state, and local response to any event which could cause harm to the public's health. In an evaluation of the gaps in pandemic planning, a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report sited comments from interviews of federal and private sector representatives which expressed that a lack of clarity exists in the roles and responsibilities of federal and state governments on a number of issues.

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SCHOOL IMMUNIZATION EXEMPTIONS

Photo of a nurseAll 50 states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students.  Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Almost all states grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations, and at least 20 states allow philosophical exemptions.

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OVERVIEW | INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Infectious diseases continue to produce illness and death worldwide. Caused by microbes that spread from person to person, through insect or animal bites, or in contaminated food or water, infectious diseases pose an ongoing challenge as microorganisms adapt to changing conditions and environments. Vaccination can protect against many common infectious diseases. Public health systems, services and policies can support prevention, detection, and control of infectious diseases and help integrate clinical infectious disease preventive practices into the health care system, U.S. healthcare as well as strengthen the response to outbreaks.

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