Alaska Statutes.
Title 18. Health, Safety, and Housing
Chapter 15. Disease Control and Threats to Public Health
Section 395. Definitions.
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AS 18.15.395. Definitions.

In AS 18.15.355 - 18.15.395, unless the context otherwise requires,

(1) "Alaska Native organization" means an organization recognized by the United States Indian Health Service to provide health-related services;

(2) "condition of public health importance" means a disease, syndrome, symptom, injury, or other threat to health that is identifiable on an individual or community level and can reasonably be expected to lead to adverse health effects in the community;

(3) "contagious disease" means an infectious disease that can be transmitted from individual to individual;

(4) "contaminated material" means wastes or other materials exposed to or tainted by chemical, radiological, or biological substances or agents;

(5) "court" means a court of competent jurisdiction under state law;

(6) "decontaminate" means to remove or neutralize chemical, radiological, or biological substances or residues from individuals, buildings, objects, or areas;

(7) "directly observed therapy" means a technique used to ensure that an infectious individual complies with the individual's treatment regimen, whereby a health worker observes the individual to ensure the ingestion of the individual's medication for each dose the individual is required to take over the course of the individual's treatment;

(8) "disease outbreak" means the sudden and rapid increase in the number of cases of a disease or other condition of public health importance in a population;

(9) "epidemic" means the occurrence in a community or region of a group of similar conditions of public health importance that are in excess of normal expectancy and derived from a common or propagated source;

(10) "essential public health services and functions" mean services and functions to

(A) monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems;

(B) investigate and diagnose health problems and health hazards in the community;

(C) inform and educate individuals about and empower them to deal with health issues;

(D) mobilize public and private sector collaboration and action to identify and solve health problems;

(E) develop policies, plans, and programs that support individual and community health efforts;

(F) enforce statutes and regulations of this state that protect health and ensure safety;

(G) link individuals to needed health services and facilitate the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable;

(H) ensure a competent public health workforce;

(I) evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services; or

(J) research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems;

(11) "health care practitioner" means a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant authorized to practice their respective professions in this state;

(12) "health care provider" means any person that provides health care services; "health care provider" includes a hospital, medical clinic or office, special care facility, medical laboratory, physician, pharmacist, dentist, physician assistant, nurse, paramedic, emergency medical or laboratory technician, community health worker, and ambulance and emergency medical worker;

(13) "identifiable health information" means any information, whether oral, written, electronic, visual, pictorial, physical, or any other form, that relates to an individual's past, present, or future physical or mental health status, condition, treatment, service, products purchased, or provisions of care and

(A) that reveals the identity of the individual whose health care is the subject of the information; or

(B) regarding which there is a reasonable basis to believe that the information could be used, either alone or with other information that is, or should reasonably be known to be, available to predictable recipients of the information, to reveal the identity of that individual;

(14) "infectious disease" means a disease caused by a living organism or other pathogen, including a fungus, bacteria, parasite, protozoan, or virus; an infectious disease may be transmissible from individual to individual, animal to individual, or insect to individual;

(15) "infectious waste" means

(A) biological waste, including blood and blood products, excretions, exudates, secretions, suctioning and other body fluids, and waste materials saturated with blood or body fluids;

(B) cultures and stocks, including

(i) etiologic agents and associated biologicals;

(ii) specimen cultures and dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures;

(iii) wastes from production of biologicals and serums; and

(iv) discarded, killed, or attenuated vaccines;

(C) except for teeth or formaldehyde or other preservative agents, pathological waste, including

(i) biopsy materials and all human tissues;

(ii) anatomical parts that emanate from surgery, obstetrical procedures, necropsy or autopsy, and laboratory procedures; and

(iii) animal carcasses exposed to pathogens in research and the bedding and other waste from those animals; and

(D) sharps, including needles, intravenous tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, breakable glass tubes, and syringes that have been removed from their original sterile containers;

(16) "isolation" means the physical separation and confinement of an individual who is, or group of individuals who are, infected or reasonably believed to be infected with a contagious or possibly contagious disease from nonisolated individuals, to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to nonisolated individuals;

(17) "least restrictive" means the policy or practice that least infringes on the rights or interests of others;

(18) "public health agent" means an official or employee of the department who is authorized to carry out provisions of AS 18.15.355 - 18.15.395;

(19) "public health purpose" means the prevention, control, or amelioration of a condition of public health importance, including an analysis or evaluation of a condition of public health importance and an evaluation of a public health program;

(20) "public information" means information that is generally open to inspection or review by the public;

(21) "quarantine" means the physical separation and confinement of an individual or group of individuals who are or may have been exposed to a contagious or possibly contagious disease and who do not show signs or symptoms of a contagious disease from nonquarantined individuals to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to nonquarantined individuals;

(22) "screening" means the systematic application of a testing or examination to a defined population;

(23) "specimen" means blood; sputum; urine; stool; or other bodily fluids, wastes, tissues, and cultures necessary to perform required tests;

(24) "state medical officer" means a physician licensed to practice medicine by this state and employed by the department, with responsibilities for public health matters;

(25) "testing" means any diagnostic or investigative analysis or medical procedure that determines the presence or absence of or exposure to a condition of public health importance, or its precursor, in an individual;

(26) "transmissible agent" means a biological substance capable of causing disease or infection through individual to individual, animal to individual, or other modes of transmission;

(27) "vaccination" means a suspension of attenuated or noninfectious microorganisms or derivative antigens administered to stimulate antibody production or cellular immunity against a pathogen for the purpose of preventing, ameliorating, or treating an infectious disease.


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