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Notice

Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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In compliance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, call the CDC Reports Clearance Officer at (404) 639-7090.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments to Seleda Perryman, CDC Assistant Reports Clearance Officer, 1600 Clifton Road, MS-D24, Atlanta, GA 30333. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

Proposed Project: Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Reports and Annual Morbidity Series—OMB #0920-0007—Extension—Epidemiology Program Office (EPO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 1878, Congress authorized the U. S. Marine Hospital Service (later renamed the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) to collect morbidity reports on cholera, smallpox, plague, and yellow fever from U.S. consuls overseas; this information was to be used for instituting quarantine measures to prevent the introduction and spread of these diseases into the United States. In 1879, a specific Congressional appropriation was made for the collection and publication of reports of these notifiable diseases. Congress expanded the authority for weekly reporting and publication in 1893 to include data from state and municipal authorities throughout the United States. To increase the uniformity of the data, Congress enacted a law in 1902 directing the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service (PHS) to provide forms for the collection and compilation of data and for the publication of reports at the national level.

Reports on notifiable diseases were received from very few states and cities prior to 1900, but gradually more states submitted monthly and annual summaries. In 1912, state and territorial health authorities—in conjunction with PHS—recommended immediate telegraphic reports of five diseases and monthly reporting by letter of 10 additional diseases, but it was not until after 1925 that all states reported regularly. In 1942, the collection, compilation, and publication of morbidity statistics, under the direction of the Division of Sanitary Reports and Statistics, PHS, was transferred to the Division of Public Health Methods, PHS.

A PHS study in 1948 led to a revision of the morbidity reporting procedures, and in 1949 morbidity reporting activities were transferred to the National Office of Vital Statistics. Another committee in PHS presented a revised plan to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) at its meeting in Washington, DC, October 1950. ASTHO authorized a Conference of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) for the purpose of determining the diseases that should be reported by the states to PHS. Beginning in 1951, national meetings of CSTE were held every two years until 1974, then annually thereafter.

In 1961, responsibility for the collection of data on nationally notifiable diseases and deaths in 122 U.S. cities was transferred from the National Office of Vital Statistics to CDC. For 37 years the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) has consistently served as CDC premier communication channel for disease outbreaks and trends in health and health behavior. In collaboration with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), CDC has demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of computer transmission of data. The data collected electronically for publication in the MMWR provides information which CDC and State epidemiologists use to detail and more effectively interrupt outbreaks. Reporting also provides the timely information needed to measure and demonstrate the impact of changed immunization laws or a new therapeutic measure. Users of data include, but are not limited to, congressional offices, state and local health agencies, health care providers, and other health related groups.

The dissemination of public health information is accomplished through the MMWR series of publications. The publications consist of the MMWR, the CDC Surveillance Summaries, the Recommendations and Reports, and the Annual Summary of Notifiable Diseases. There are no costs to respondents.

Type of respondentsNumber of respondentsFrequency of responseAverage time of responseAnnual hour burden
State and Local Health Departments1795230/604,654
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Total4, 654
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Dated: August 25, 2003.

Nancy E. Cheal,

Acting Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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[FR Doc. 03-22101 Filed 8-28-03; 8:45 am]

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