Surveillance for diseases affecting pregnant people (SET-NET)

Surveillance for diseases affecting pregnant people (SET-NET)

The SET-NET Program

The Washington State Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network Program (WA SET-NET Program) is a part of nationwide CDC Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET).

The program gathers information from Local Public Health Jurisdictions (LHJs) to determine how emerging diseases affect pregnant people and their infants in Washington State. This information is also shared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to understand these impacts within the United States.

What are the goals of the program?

The WA SET-NET Program aims to:

  • determine how emerging diseases, such as COVID-19, hepatitis C, zika virus, and syphilis affect pregnant people and their infants in Washington state.
  • track birth defects, developmental problems, and other disabilities for children up to 3 years old.

This program works alongside LHJs to streamline the data collection process. 

Why is the program important?

The information SET-NET gathers help inform and create prevention and treatment guidance for pregnant people, their infants, and the healthcare providers who care for them.

 DOH and partners can use the data to:

  • Monitor and improve the health of pregnant people and infants;
  • Link families to medical and social services to get recommended care;
  • Strengthen laboratory and clinical testing to find emerging emerging diseases quickly; and
  • Ensure public health is ready and prepared to meet the needs of pregnant people and infants during emergencies.

Which health conditions are monitored by the program?

The Washington SET-NET Program investigates the risk of new, emerging, remerging, and persistent diseases. We focus on health conditions that greatly impact fetus and newborn health outcomes. 

The program currently monitors:

  • Hepatitis C
    • CDC Hep C testing recommendations (Updated 2020)
    • The CDC recommends one-time Hep C testing for:
      - All adults (over 18 years of age)
      - All children born to pregnant people with Hep C infection
    • The CDC recommends more frequent Hep C testing for:
      - All pregnant people during each pregnancy
      - Individuals who currently inject drugs and share needles

Is the medical information that the program collects secure and protected?

Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) follows strict standards to ensure that the privacy of people whose health information is collected is protected. SET-NET and the CDC do not release any data that could be used to identify someone. The medical information in the WA SET-NET program is protected by an Assurance of Confidentiality.

Where does the program gather information from?

Information is collected from existing records, which include nationally notifiable case report forms, birth and death records, lab test results, and medical records.

The data collected includes information about:

  • Mother’s age
  • Mother’s race and ethnicity​
  • Mother’s health conditions before pregnancy (e.g., diabetes)
  • Alcohol and tobacco use​
  • Pregnancy complications​ (e.g., gestational diabetes)
  • Infant sex​, height, weight, and head circumference
  • Infant physical exam findings
  • Birth defects​

Ask us a Question

Do you have any questions about the WA SET-NET Program or any of the conditions discussed here? Email us at

Do you have questions regarding your health risks during pregnancy? We suggest that you reach out to a healthcare provider. However, you can email us at the address above for some useful resources.