Article Content

Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and as the National Center for Infectious Diseases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000) notes: Infectious diseases, most notably influenza and pneumonia, ranked sixth among the leading causes of death in the United States in 1998.


Increasingly, home care and hospice nurses encounter a wide range of infectious diseases in clinical practice, and have an opportunity to educate the public and participate in community surveillance activities. The Web sites listed here offer a reliable and extensive resource concerning a wide range of infectious disease issues.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention:


National Center for Infectious Diseases:


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:


The National Center for Health Statistics:



These sites, all established and maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), provide a broad range of materials related to infectious diseases. The primary CDC site, available in English with a Spanish-language mirror site, provides resources for consumers and healthcare professionals, including Fact Sheets on numerous infectious diseases, data and statistics concerning disease outbreaks, current travel information, and a section on hoaxes and rumors (established in part to counteract the profusion of misinformation sent via e-mail messages and available on Web bulletin-board sites). For example, hantavirus is not spread by handling items such as soda cans and grocery packages.


The National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) is one of the 12 centers, insititutes, and offices within the CDC. The NCID Web site provides access to surveillance system resources, data, and reports related to a myriad of diseases including HIV and STDs, parasitic diseases, vector-borne infectious diseases, and bacterial and mycotic diseases (which has a great Foodborne Illness section).


As an example of the real beauty of this site, clicking on "Disease Information" in the "Contents" section and scrolling down and clicking on "Hepatitis," then "Resource Center," and then "Slide Sets," enables users to view or download in PDF or PowerPoint format the current CDC slide sets for a terrific variety of educational presentations related to hepatitis in general and/or a specific type of viral hepatitis in particular.


The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) has been a staple in the mail of clinicians and epidemiologists for generations. Prepared by the CDC, the MMWR is published by The New England Journal of Medicine. This site provides both a search option that lets users access all of the MMWR articles, and it has an e-mail subscription option to allow you to receive automatic e-mail updates and PDF downloadable files. Users can even download the entire current MMWR issue in PDF format without charge.


The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) provides data about a number of infectious diseases using the "FASTATS A to Z" option. The FASTATS site allows searches for state as well as national data, and has links to each state's department of health Web site.


Other Sites

Health Web:


Health Web is provided by a consortium of approximately 20 health sciences libraries of the Greater Midwest Region (GMR) of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) and those of the Committee for Institutional Cooperation. The site contains an impressive collection of links related to nursing, medicine, and healthcare. Following the link for "microbiology and infectious diseases" ( takes users to a site that is organized by categories that provide links to the largest and most reliable (i.e., government and academic) sites with information about infectious diseases. This is a good starting point for a Web-based search about infectious disease news, updates, and clinical information.


The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases:


This Web site, maintained by a non-profit 501[c]3 foundation located in Bethesda, MD, provides both a comprehensive Virtual Library of Diseases and Web links and a variety of Factsheets covering numerous infectious diseases.


A wealth of current information on infectious disease is accessible on the Web. With just a click, one can procure statistical and factual information on prevention measures and an entire range of infectious diseases.




Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. (1998). Deaths: Final data for 1998. National Vital Statistics Report, 48 (11), 5.

coming to home Healthcare Nurse


Special OBQI Issues:


August and September 2002


We had so much helpful OBQI information that it took two issues! Next month you'll find these essential OBQI articles:


Each of the first four steps of the OBQI Process:


Data Collection, Data Analysis, Interpreting Outcome Reports, and Selecting Target Outcomes presented in two sections:


Part 1: "The Basics" gives you a comprehensive description of each step in the process.


Part 2: "Practical Application" shares the approaches the pilot agencies that worked with the Delmarva Foundation's Professional Review Organization (PRO) developed as they were the first to implement OBQI!



Other articles to make your OBQI work easier:


A complete list of OASIS and OBQI Resources with all the new CMS Web site addresses!


The research being done on OASIS for Outcome Measurement, and...


Why I'd rather do OBQI than lie on a beach!