Communicable Disease Priority

Background

Preventing and controlling the spread of disease is at the heart of much public health work.

Communicable, or infectious diseases, are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. Transmission can occur in a variety of ways, including direct physical contact with an infectious person, consuming contaminated foods or beverages, contact with contaminated body fluids, contact with contaminated inanimate objects, or being bitten by an infected insect.  In some cases, pathogens that result in infectious diseases can become airborne and spread via the air we breathe (i.e., through inhalation).  Some disease agents can be transmitted from animals to humans, and some of these agents can be transmitted in more than one way.

Communicable Disease Workgroup

Communicable Disease is a top priority for the Greater Nashua Public Health Region (GNPHR) 2022 Community Health Improvement Plan.

The workgroup for communicable disease is the Infection Prevention and Control Coalition (IPCC), which consists of many community partners including:

Dartmouth Hitchcock Nashua, Southern NH Medical Center, St. Joseph's Hospital, Fairview Nursing Home, Laurel Place, Crestwood, Greenbriar Healthcare, Rose Haven Home, Pillsbury Home, The Courville system, Ledgewood Bay, Hunt Community, Elm Care & Rehab-Milford, Home Health and Hospice, New England QIN-QIO, Nashua Crossing, Huntington at Nashua, Langdon Place.

For more information or to get involved, contact DPHCS.

Main Takeaways from the Communicable Disease CHA 2020 page

• COVID-19 was first identified in New Hampshire in March, 2020. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, check our update page here.  

• In 2018 and 2019, New Hampshire and other states experienced an outbreak of Hepatitis A. In New Hampshire, the highest burden of disease was in people experiencing homelessness and people with substance use disorder. 

• Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in New Hampshire (NH), and NH has one of the highest incidence rates in the country. Hillsborough has fewer cases per 100,000 when compared to the rest of the state, likely due to city lifestyles in Manchester and Nashua. 

For a full look at Communicable Disease in Greater Nashua, check out the PHEP 2020 Community Health Assessment page here

Assets & Gaps Assessment

About Respondents

The Communicable Disease Assets & Gaps Assessment was sent out in to community partners in March, 2021 and closed in September, 2021. 

There were 10 communicable disease agencies from the Greater Nashua Public Health Region that responded to this assessment. 

Communicable Disease Priority Areas

Community partners were asked to rank the priority areas that they believed were most important for the Greater Nashua Public Health Region to work on. The rank of 10 corresponds to the highest priority area. 

Collectively, the main priorities under communicable disease include:

1) Increase vaccination uptake for vaccine preventable diseases 

2) Increase community preparedness for communicable disease outbreaks

3) Increase effectiveness of public health system in preventing and addressing communicable disease.

Communicable Disease Programs & Services

Community partners were asked to identify what existing communicable disease programs their organization currently has in order to avoid duplication of efforts. 

Barriers

In an open response question, community partners were asked to identify barriers to receiving communicable disease services. Partners were also asked if they had adequate staff available to run their communicable disease programs. 

Health Equity

In an open response question, community partners were asked to discuss how their organization addresses issues of health equity, access to care and social determinants of health. Partners were also asked what specific efforts their organization makes to reach the Black, Indigenous and other Peoples of Color (BIPOC) population.

We have growing populations of non-English speakers in the area, we need greater outreach to these communities.

- Community Organization

Strategic Map

The Strategy Map below links to detailed objectives, data and programming details for communicable disease.  Click on an objective to see more programming details about who is leading the effort in certain program areas and contact information so your organization can get involved.

Summary

This is the first year that communicable disease has been incorporated into a Greater Nashua CHIP, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Nashua DPHCS, in conjunction with the Infection Prevention and Control Coalition, will spearhead the efforts to address pandemic preparedness and immunization uptake.

Do you have questions or comments about the information on this site? Contact us.

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