Protecting the health of people in Devon and responding to any health-related emergencies is part of our public health role. This includes making sure there is a good uptake of local vaccinations and screening programmes.
Vaccines trigger the body’s immune system to produce its own antibodies (substances produced by the body to fight disease) without actually infecting it with the disease. This is called ‘active immunity’. If the vaccinated person then comes into contact with the disease itself, their immune system will recognise it and immediately produce the antibodies they need to fight it – called immunisation.
Screening is a process of identifying people who may be at increased risk of a disease or condition. They can then be offered information, further tests and appropriate treatment to reduce their risk or any complications arising from the disease or condition.
Preventing and controlling infectious diseases
Healthcare associated infections
This involves controlling infections, such as MRSA, which occur as a result of healthcare associated infections, contracted, for example, from a hospital stay.
Emergency planning and response
This includes planning and preparations for severe weather and environmental hazards.