Assessing Indicators of State Capacity for Harmful Algal Bloom Reporting Since the Launch of the CDC One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System in 2016 Open Access

Verlander, Sarah (Spring 2022)

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Background: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a major environmental hazard that impact all 50 U.S. states and pose a threat to the health of humans, animals and the shared ecosystem. The One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS) was established in 2016 to form a national public health system collecting information on HABs and the illnesses they can cause in humans and animals. The goal of this study is to assess a series of proxy indicators of state reporting capacity of harmful algal blooms for possible associations with adoption of the OHHABS national reporting mechanism. Methods: A series of indicators of HAB surveillance capabilities were developed based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding sources, state public health department structure, and state-supported online HAB resources. Logistic regression was used to investigate associations between state participation in OHHABS and the indicators of HAB surveillance capabilities. A secondary analysis using Likelihood Ratio Tests (LRT) was conducted to determine whether a joint effect may exist between multiple funding sources or state public health department characteristics on state participation in OHHABS. Results: While the proposed HAB surveillance capacity indicators were not statistically associated with state OHHABS participation in the proposed model, several descriptive and unadjusted associations merit further research efforts regarding funding sources and online public reporting mechanisms. Conclusion: The results suggest a need for further investigation into the contribution of state funding sources, structural components of state health departments, and online informational resources to HAB surveillance and response capacity.  

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introducing the Problem: 1

National Efforts to Surveil the Public Health Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms. 4

HAB Reporting Capacity of State Public Health Departments. 6

Purpose of Project 8

Projected Significance. 9


Data Collection. 10

OHHABS Reporting. 10

Funding Measures. 10

State Indicators of Public Health Capacity. 12

Additional Covariates of Consideration. 13

Data Analysis. 14


Logistic Regression Analysis. 22




Appendix A: Abbreviations. 45

Appendix B: Online Web Links to State HAB Resources. 46

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