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Acute Disease Epidemiology


Routine acute disease surveillance in South Carolina is both passive and active.  The Surveillance section is responsible for maintaining the passive surveillance system, by which the majority of disease report data is collected.  Data are stored in South Carolina’s implementation of the CDC’s National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) Base System, known as  CHESS ( Carolina’s Health Electronic Surveillance System ).  Data may be collected in several ways: telephone calls or hand-written disease report cards submitted by providers, external provider entry into CHESS, or automated downloads of data into CHESS.  Once received by DADE, the Surveillance section processes and analyzes the data for DHEC users and transmits the data to the CDC for inclusion in national morbidity reporting. 

The section is specifically responsible for:

  • Improving data quality through trainings for DHEC staff and external CHESS users,
  • Managing the statewide influenza surveillance system and preparing the weekly Flu Watch,
  • Extracting data from CHESS and preparing reports, as needed
  • Reviewing case investigations in CHESS and approving for transmission to CDC,
  • Maintaining educational and reference materials,
  • Revising the List of Reportable Conditions, the Laboratory List of Reportable Conditions, and 1129 disease reporting cards annually,
  • Publishing DADE’s annual disease surveillance report,
  • Deploying CHESS for use by external providers to increase the accuracy and timeliness of reporting,
  • Creating and maintaining the DADE intranet site,
  • Staffing the CHESS Help Desk for external users,
  • Evaluating surveillance system.