One of the ten great Achievements of Public Health in the 20th Century was the control of communicable diseases. Science allowed us to identify different disease-causing agents and to develop treatments for them. Science and public health allowed us to understand how diseases are passed from person to person and to develop techniques for stopping this movement. As a result, the leading cause of death of the 19th Century has been reduced, but not eliminated.
Increase in Communicable Diseases
Unfortunately, due to vaccine hesitancy and other factors, we are experiencing an increase in communicable diseases. Therefore, Public Health must remain constantly vigilant and take steps to stop diseases.
Reporting of Diseases
New Jersey requires the reporting of certain diseases to the health department by those who detect the disease; doctors, nurses, laboratories, veterinarians, etc. When reported to the health department state laws require the department to investigate everyone and to try to determine the cause/source and take steps to stop it. This activity occurs 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. Many diseases, such as Tuberculosis and Measles, have been reported during off-hours, but since the disease does not stop moving neither does your health department. We are constantly looking for new diseases and new cases of old diseases so we can stop them from spreading.
One of the ways we have been able to control communicable diseases is through the development and widespread distribution of vaccines, Vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, yet some individuals are still resistant to vaccinations. The Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission feels very strongly about vaccinations and has taken a public position on Immunizations of Pupils in School.
While our focus is often on childhood immunizations, the Health Department is also interested in assuring that adults are properly vaccinated. In order to help you understand the recommendations for adult vaccination and actions you can take to protect yourself, we developed an informational brochure (PDF).