2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 26 - HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS
Section 26:13-4 - Investigation of incident, imminent threat; reporting requirements.
26:13-4 Investigation of incident, imminent threat; reporting requirements.
4. a. In order to detect the occurrence or imminent threat of an occurrence of a public health emergency as defined in this act, the commissioner may take reasonable steps to investigate any incident or imminent threat of any human disease or health condition. Such investigation may include, and the commissioner may issue and enforce orders requiring, information from any health care provider or other person affected by, or having information related to, the incident or threat, inspections of buildings and conveyances and their contents, laboratory analysis of samples collected during the course of such inspection, and where the commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe a public health emergency exists, requiring a physical examination or the provision of specimens of body secretions, excretions, fluids and discharge for laboratory examination of any person suspected of having a disease or health condition that necessitates an investigation under this subsection, except where such action would be reasonably likely to lead to serious harm to the affected person.
In instances involving an overlap agent or toxin, the Department of Agriculture shall be the lead agency with respect to surveillance, testing, sampling, detection and investigation related to animals, plants or crops under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture pursuant to the provisions of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, and shall coordinate its activities with all appropriate local, State and federal agencies.
b.A health care provider or medical examiner shall report to the department and to the local health official all cases of persons who harbor or are suspected of harboring any illness or health condition that may be reasonably believed to be potential causes of a public health emergency. Reportable illnesses and health conditions include, but are not limited to, any illnesses or health conditions identified by the commissioner.
c.In addition to the foregoing requirements for health care providers, a pharmacist shall, at the direction of the commissioner, report:
(1)an unusual increase in the number or type of prescriptions to treat conditions that the commissioner identifies by regulation;
(2)an unusual increase in the number of prescriptions for antibiotics; and
(3)any prescription identified by the commissioner that treats a disease that is relatively uncommon or may be associated with terrorism.
d.The reports shall be made to such State and local officials in accordance with the method and time frame as specified by the commissioner. The reports shall include the specific illness or health condition that is the subject of the report and a case number assigned to the report that is linked to the patient file in possession of the health care provider or medical examiner, along with the name and address of the health care provider or medical examiner. Based on any such report, where the commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that a public health emergency exists, the health care provider or medical examiner shall provide a supplemental report including the following information: the patient's name, date of birth, sex, race, occupation, current home and work addresses, including city and county, and relevant telephone contact numbers; the name and address of the health care provider or medical examiner and of the reporting individual, if different; designated emergency contact; and any other information needed to locate the patient for follow-up.
e.The provisions of this section shall not be deemed or construed to limit, alter or impair in any way the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to "The Radiation Accident Response Act," P.L.1981, c.302 (C. 26:2D-37 et seq.), or of the State Office of Emergency Management in the Division of State Police, Department of Law and Public Safety. Any powers of inspection of buildings and conveyances for sources of radiation that are granted to the commissioner shall only be exercised upon the concurrence of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.
f.The provisions of this section shall not be deemed or construed to limit, alter or impair in any way the authority of the Department of Agriculture pursuant to its jurisdiction under the laws and policies governing that department.
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