Readers’ guide: Understanding MMWR weekly tables and annual reports about National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System data
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Readers’ guide: Understanding MMWR weekly tables and annual reports about National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System data

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    NO LONGER CURRENT: This version was used in reference to 2006–2015 data tables.

    The CDC National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) is the nation’s public health surveillance system that enables all levels of public health (local, state, territorial, federal and international) to share information on diseases and conditions that the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), in consultation with CDC, has designated as nationally notifiable. Public health professionals use the data from NNDSS to monitor, control, and prevent the occurrence and spread of disease. CDC administers NNDSS in collaboration with CSTE.

    Initially, these nationally notifiable disease data are collected locally as a result of state, territorial, and local legislation and regulations that require health care providers, medical laboratories, and other entities to submit data on reportable conditions to state and local public health departments. The reportable conditions vary depending upon each jurisdiction’s health priorities. The reporting jurisdictions, which include the 50 U.S. states, five U.S. territories, New York City and Washington DC, voluntarily submit case notifications for the nationally notifiable conditions to CDC. Figure I below shows the reporting flow for NNDSS data.

    A list of current and historical notifiable conditions, along with their case definitions and classifications, is available at NNDSS uses national surveillance case definitions to help ensure that cases are identified, classified, and enumerated consistently across reporting jurisdictions for each nationally notifiable disease or condition. As new pathogens and conditions emerge and methods of disease detection and classification evolve, conditions are added to the nationally notifiable disease list, and definitions and classifications for conditions are changed. Conditions are deleted from the list when surveillance is not found to be useful at a national level.

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