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The Changing Landscape of Tracking Infectious Diseases

When investigating cases, state public health laboratories need to prioritize, based on the particular disease and associated test results. For example, the laboratory would investigate a case suspected to involve a highly infectious respiratory disease as a higher priority than a Campylobacter-positive case.
With respect to worker and childcare exclusion or restriction, Cronquist emphasized that Colorado treats a PCR-positive result in the same way as a culture-positive result. The state public health laboratories also frequently perform followup testing at no charge, she added. And, in cases in which patients are CIDT-positive for two or more reportable conditions, she stressed that the state recommends that clinicians use control measures for the pathogen with the greatest risk of transmission.
In concluding, Dr Braden emphasized that the CDC uses PulseNet,  a national laboratory network that connects cases of food-borne illness to detect outbreaks. This network uses bacterial subtyping methods to quickly detect clusters of food-borne disease, which are often the first indication of an outbreak. Since it was formed 1996, PulseNet has improved food safety through identifying outbreaks early, preventing more than 270,000 illnesses from Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli every year.
Dr. Parry graduated from the University of Liverpool, England in 1997 and is a board-certified veterinary pathologist. After 13 years working in academia, she founded Midwest Veterinary Pathology, LLC where she now works as a private consultant. She is passionate about veterinary education and serves on the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association’s Continuing Education Committee. She regularly writes continuing education articles for veterinary organizations and journals, and has also served on the American College of Veterinary Pathologists’ Examination Committee and Education Committee. 
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