Chapter 04 - Communicable Diseases

Chapter 04 - Communicable Diseases

25.0401 Authority to declare diseases communicable.

(a) The Director may by regulation approved by the Governor, declare any disease to be a communicable disease.

(b) Human Immunodeficiency Virus Seropositivity (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are communicable diseases.

25.0402 Report of communicable diseases-Duty of medical personnel.

Any physician, dentist, medical or dental officer, or nurse of the Department of Health who has knowledge or suspected knowledge of the presence of any communicable disease or any other disease dangerous to the public health shall report the same to the Director within 48 hours after diagnosis unless a different time is prescribed by regulation together with the name, age, and sex of the person affected, the village in which the person may be found, and such other information as may be required by regulation. When the patient is immediately hospitalized, the physician or medical officer in charge of the hospital care of the patient shall make the report. The director shall forthwith such cases to the United States Public Health Services.

25.0403 Report of contagious or infectious diseases-Duty of lodging places.

Any owner, keeper or other person in charge of the operation of a hotel, boardinghouse, lodginghouse or dormitory shall immediately report to the Director the presence therein of any person he has reason to believe to be sick from or to have died from any contagious, infectious, communicable, or other disease dangerous to the public health.

25.0404 Report of contagious or infectious diseases-Duty of ship and aircraft captains.

Any master of a vessel or captain of an aircraft shall immediately report to the Director the presence aboard such vessel or aircraft of any person he has reason to believe to be sick from, or to have died from, any contagious infectious communicable, or other disease dangerous to the public health.

25.0405 Report of communicable or contagious disease-Confidential-Duty of person or child with disease.

(a) Any person having any communicable disease, or any other disease dangerous to the public health, including venereal disease, shall report such condition to any medical services officer or physician licensed to practice medicine in American Samoa. No parent, guardian, or other person having custody or care of a minor child shall conceal the fact of a minor child having any such disease.

25.0406 Inspection for discovery of disease.

(a) When a complaint is made or reasonable belief exists that a communicable disease or other disease dangerous to public health prevails in any house or elsewhere and has not been reported, the Director of Health shall make an inspection for the purpose of discovering whether any such disease exists.

25.0407 Willful exposure of disease prohibited.

No person having a communicable disease or other disease dangerous to the public health, or being in charge of any person afflicted with such a disease, may willfully expose himself or such person in any public place, street or highway, except as may be authorized by the Director.

25.0408 Isolation and quarantine regulations.

Isolation and quarantine shall be imposed in accordance with regulations of the Governor. Such regulations shall designate the diseases for which isolation or quarantine or both are necessary and such other requirements concerning diagnosis, treatment, release, and other pertinent matters as may be deemed necessary.

25.0409 Duty of person having control of quarantined child.

Where any person suffering from a communicable disease is required to remain isolated or quarantined or to do or refrain from doing any act or thing whereby the spread of the disease may be enhanced, and such person, because of tender age or physical or mental disability, is unable to comprehend or comply with such requirements, it shall be the duty of the parents, guardian, or other person, including any attendant having such patient under his care, custody or control, to comply or cause compliance with the isolation or quarantine imposed and pertinent provisions of this chapter.

25.0410 Posting of quarantined premises.

(a) When a person has been isolated or quarantined and is restricted thereby to his residence or other building, the Director may place in a conspicuous position on the exterior of the premises where such person is isolated or quarantined a placard having printed on it, in large letters, the name of the disease and warning all authorized persons to remain off the premises. Such placard shall be in both English and Samoan.

(b) No person may remove, deface, or destroy such placard until authorized by the Director.

(c) Except as authorized by the Director, or by regulation, no person shall enter or leave any premises which have been placarded.

25.0411 Disinfection of premises.

The Director may if he deems it advisable, order the premises and contents thereof in which any person has been ill or has died of a communicable disease, or any other room building, premises or area, and any contents thereof which may be infective by contact with any communicable disease, to be disinfected and purified in such manner as he may direct. It shall be the duty of the owner or occupant of such premises to comply with any such order.

25.0412 Destruction of infected property-Compensation.

(a) The Director may destroy any infected clothing, bedding, or other articles which cannot be made safe by disinfection. He shall furnish to the owner thereof a receipt showing the number, character, condition and estimated value of the articles so destroyed. A copy of such receipt shall be retained by the Director.

(b) Upon the presentation of the original receipt for articles destroyed and approval by the Governor, the Treasurer of American Samoa shall pay to the owner of such property, out of such appropriations of the Department of Health as may be available, the value of such destroyed articles.

25.0413 Closing schools.

During an epidemic or threatening epidemic, or when a dangerous communicable disease is unusually prevalent, the Director may close any public or private school and prohibit any public or private gathering for such time as may be necessary in the interests of the public health.

25.0415 Prevention of blindess at childbirth.

Any physician midwife, or other person in attendance at childbirth shall instill a one-percent solution of silver nitrate into the eyes of every child immediately after birth. Solutions other than one-percent silver nitrate may be used only on approval of the Director and subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Director may impose.

25.0416 Disposal of bodies.

The Director, in his discretion, may require that the body of a person who has died of a communicable disease or any other disease dangerous to the public health be buried or cremated immediately or within such period of time in conformity with such procedure, as he may designate.

25.0417 Autopsies.

The Director may perform any autopsy whenever approved by the family of the deceased or order of the High Court.

25.0418 Personal rights guaranteed.

No person testing HIV positive may be denied any governmental services, public or private employment, school attendance, housing, insurance, health or dental care or any other basic human rights based upon their seropositivity.

25.0419 Confidentiality.

Records containing the identity of individuals pursuant to this chapter may under no circumstances be disclosed or transferred to any unauthorized person or public or private agency. Employees of the American Samoa Government who violate this section shall be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Title 7, and Title 4 A.S.C.A.