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Missouri Health Department tightens surveillance of disease reporting

March 18, 2003
By: Megan Murphy
State Capital Bureau

The Missouri Health Department is paying closer attention to disease reporting as the country's terror alert level is heightened to orange.

The Health Department has a team of specialists ready to be deployed to any site reporting suspicious illnesses. The department is looking for any abnormal increases in symptoms. Because of the orange terror level, Public Information Administrator Mary Kay Hager says some staff members are on call 24 hours a day.

Actuality:HAGER3.wav
RunTime: 15
OutCue: "its reporting"


Contents: "We would have a team of medical professionals, epidemiology specialists, local public health agency staff, and crime-task force members that would be available to be deployed on site to investigate any suspicious illness or disease within hours of its reporting."

In case of a red terror level, the Missouri Health Department would activate its emergency response plan. According to Hager, this plan would focus on the early identification and immediate containment of any disease outbreaks.

In Jefferson City, Megan Murphy, KMOX News


The orange terror level means more work for the Missouri Health Department.

The department has tightened its surveillance for disease reporting throughout the state since the reported increase in terror level. Public Information Administrator, Mary Kay Hager, says a team of specialists is now on call 24-7 in case of any medical emergencies.

Actuality:HAGER4.wav
RunTime: 21
OutCue: "daily routine."


Contents: "We have a high alert surveillance system, where health care providers and hospitals are looking for different symptoms, and we coordinate that throughout the state. We are looking for an increase of certain types of symptoms or certain types of illnesses that are not normal for our daily routine."

If the country's terror level should rise to red, the Missouri Health Department would focus on the early identification and containment of any biological, chemical, or radiological events.

In Jefferson City, I'm Megan Murphy, for Missouri Capitol Caucus.


The orange terror level means more work for the Missouri Health Department.

The department has a set list of responses to the different terror levels. Under the orange level, the department must operate under tightened security. According to Mary Kay Hager, the Public Information Administrator for the department, this means longer hours for the specialists and closer scrutiny of disease reports.

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OutCue: "pager systems"


Contents: "Currently, we are at the orange alert, and at that level we do tighten or increase our surveillance for disease reporting throughout the state. We tighten security for some of our buildings. Some of our staff are now available on 24-7 pager systems."

The Missouri Health Department has a team of medical professionals and epidemiology specialists that would be available for immediate deployment to the site if a disease outbreak is reported.

In Jefferson City, Megan Murphy, KMOX News