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      RS 29:762     


§762. Definitions

            As used in this Chapter:

            (1) "Bioterrorism" means the intentional use of any microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product that may be engineered as a result of biotechnology, or any naturally occurring or bioengineered component of any such microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product, to cause death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or other living organism in order to influence the conduct of government or to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.

            (2) "Chain of custody" means the methodology of tracking specimens for the purpose of maintaining control and accountability from initial collection to final disposition of the specimens and providing for accountability at each stage of collecting, handling, testing, storing, and transporting the specimens and reporting test results.

            (3) "Contagious disease" means an infectious disease that can be transmitted from person to person.

            (4) "Health care provider" means a clinic, person, corporation, facility, or institution which provides health care or professional services by a physician, dentist, registered or licensed practical nurse, pharmacist, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, and any officer, employee, or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his service or employment.

            (5) "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, or may not, be transmissible from person to person, animal to person, or insect to person.

            (6) "Infectious waste" means:

            (a) "Biological waste", which includes 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", which includes etiologic agents and associated biologicals, including specimen cultures and dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures, wastes from production of biologicals and serums, and discarded live and attenuated vaccines.

            (c) "Pathological waste", which includes biopsy materials and all human tissues, anatomical parts that emanate from surgery, obstetrical procedures, necropsy or autopsy and laboratory procedures, and animal carcasses exposed to pathogens in research and the bedding and other waste from such animals, but does not include teeth or formaldehyde or other preservative agents.

            (d) "Sharps", which includes needles, I.V. tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, breakable glass tubes, and syringes that have been removed from their original sterile containers.

            (7) "Isolation" means the physical separation and confinement of an individual or groups of individuals who are infected or are reasonably believed to be infected with a contagious or possibly contagious disease from non-isolated individuals, to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to non-isolated individuals.

            (8) "Mental health support personnel" includes but is not limited to psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and volunteer crisis counseling groups.

            (9) "Military Department, state of Louisiana" includes the Louisiana National Guard, the army national guard, the air national guard, or any other military force organized under the laws of this state.

            (10) "Protected health information" means any information, whether oral, written, electronic, visual, 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 provision of care, and that reveals the identity of the individual whose health care is the subject of the information, or where there is a reasonable basis to believe such information could be utilized (either alone or with other information that is, or should reasonably be known to be, available to predictable recipients of such information) to reveal the identity of that individual. "Protected health information" includes any health or medical information, document, or record designated as confidential by state or federal law.

            (11) "Public health authority" means the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, or his designee, and the state health officer.

            (12) A "public health emergency" means an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition that:

            (a) Is believed to be caused by any of the following:

            (i) Bioterrorism.

            (ii) The appearance of a novel or previously controlled or eradicated infectious agent or biological toxin.

            (iii) A disaster, including but not limited to natural disasters such as hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high winds, and other weather related events, forest and marsh fires, and man-made disasters, including but not limited to nuclear power plant incidents or nuclear attack, hazardous materials incidents, accidental release or chemical attack, oil spills, explosion, civil disturbances, public calamity, hostile military action, and other events related thereto.

            (b) Poses a high probability of any of the following harms:

            (i) A large number of deaths in the affected population.

            (ii) A large number of serious or long-term disabilities in the affected population.

            (iii) Widespread exposure to an infectious or toxic agent that poses a significant risk of substantial future harm to a large number of people in the affected population.

            (13) "Quarantine" means the physical separation and confinement of an individual or groups 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 non-quarantined individuals, to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to non-quarantined individuals.

            (14) "Specimens" include but are not limited to blood, sputum, urine, stool, other bodily fluids, wastes, tissues, and cultures necessary to perform required tests.

            (15) "Tests" include but are not limited to any diagnostic or investigative analyses necessary to prevent the spread of disease or protect the public's health, safety, and welfare.

            (16) "Trial court" means the state judicial district court for the district in which isolation or quarantine is to occur, or, in the case of a declaration that involves more than a single state judicial district, the Nineteenth Judicial District Court.

            Acts 2003, No. 1206, §1.

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