Communicable Diseases

The Infectious Disease program at the Ross County Health District (RCHD) is responsible for the prevention and control of infectious disease in Ross County. According to the Ohio Administrative Code, all laboratories, physicians, hospitals, and other health professionals are required to report suspected and confirmed cases of certain infectious diseases to the local health department. Protection of public health is accomplished through active case identification, assessment, data collection, public education, and referral to community health providers.

A communicable disease is an illness spread by contact with an infected person or animal. These illnesses can be passed through direct contact with body fluids, ingesting contaminated food or water, breathing contaminated air, or by the bite of an infected animal.

In Ohio, there are more than 50 reportable illnesses, such as HIV, Rabies, Lyme disease, and Tuberculosis (TB). ODH has a complete list of reportable diseases on their website.

According to the Ohio Administrative Code, section 3701-3, all laboratories are required to report all positive lab results. Physicians, and other health professionals, are required to report all positive and suspect cases. Reports are confidential and made to the local health district where the patient lives. Any individual having knowledge of a person suffering from a disease suspected of being communicable.

All cases are reviewed by a RCHD Public Health Nurse.  Some reported diseases require only collection of data for statistics. Others may require a personal letter and education about the reported illness. Certain diseases require more in-depth investigation with patient contact and interview.

The RCHD Public Health Nurse (PHN) will call the patient for contact tracing and to investigate the disease. This interview could include questions for specific information regarding the history of disease, such as symptom onset, treatment, and recent activity. The collected information can help the PHN to identify links between disease outbreaks and sources of infection. These investigations help public health experts to educate those infected and those at-risk for developing symptoms.

Report a Communicable Disease

Labs and Providers Only