Communicable Disease Surveillance

The health department is required to investigate all communicable diseases in the county that are reported by local physicians and hospitals. These diseases could range from such things as Chickenpox, HIV/AIDS, tick-borne illness to food-borne illness and much more. For a complete list of reportable communicable diseases visit:

The department takes the time to investigate the situation and find out where the disease was contracted, who has been exposed and assist with physician follow-up as deemed appropriate. Some diseases can be life threatening and this process is not taken lightly. The department also investigates all animal bites to determine the risk for Rabies exposure.

Surveillance has been the cornerstone of public health since the US Congress authorized the Public Health Service to collect morbidity data for cholera, smallpox, plague, and yellow fever in 1878. Currently, all states conduct notifiable disease surveillance following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists. Communicable disease surveillance is complex, but is a necessity to ensure the safety of the community. The department has nurses who specialize in communicable disease and utilize a regional nurse who has advanced knowledge in epidemiology; we can also utilize state resources as needed.

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Department of Health and Senior Services: