Epidemiology is the branch of public health that works to describe and understand the diseases and risk factors for those diseases in our community. Epidemiologists study the factors and relationships that determine the presence, numbers, trends and distribution of diseases in communities and specific populations.
The epidemiologist at the Health Department:
- Provides information on disease prevention and control
- Performs surveillance
- Reviews health data and performs health trend analysis
- Consults with community partners on local health issues
- Creates surveys to study health behaviors and program effectiveness then tabulates and analyzes the responses
Our epidemiologist works with staff in all areas to evaluate programs, investigate disease outbreaks and provide statistical analysis on collected data.
Healthcare providers are required by law to report certain communicable diseases to the health department. They are required to provide the patient’s name, address, birth date, sex, phone number and diagnosis (3701-3-03 OAC). The list of reportable diseases may vary slightly from state to state.
Reports of suspected and confirmed cases of disease are made to the local health department where the patient lives. Follow-up will be based on whether the communicable disease is suspected or lab-confirmed, number of people ill, and if the disease is on the Reportable Disease List for Ohio.
You can notify the DGHD of a reportable disease one of several ways:
- Mail to PO Box 570, Delaware, OH 43015
- Fax the lab result to 740-203-2044
- Call the DGHD, 740-203-2040, and ask to speak with a member of the CD Team
- Contact the after-hour emergency line at 740-815-6518
When a (reportable) disease report is received, a member of the Communicable Disease Team may call the patient. Information such as onset date, symptoms, treatment, and information on any other persons who are ill or have been exposed may be gathered. Information about the disease will be explained. Questions you may have will be answered.
DGHD staff will look for common sources which may cause the disease to spread. This may involve interviewing many of the affected persons if there is a large confirmed outbreak of a disease. Information such as onset date, symptoms, treatment and information on any other persons who are ill or have been exposed may be gathered. Information about the disease will be explained and questions you may have will be answered.
The Health District keeps disease reports confidential. We do not release your name to the media. We do not release your name to your co-workers, or even discuss your case with your family members without your permission. (We will speak with parents about their child’s illness except in cases of sexually transmitted diseases for which a minor can legally seek treatment without parental consent.)
We verify information on cases with the physician involved and possibly other health departments should there be an outbreak with patients living in multiple jurisdictions. A patient’s name would be released by the health department to the media only in very rare circumstances, e.g. the patient is non-compliance and putting the health of the community at grave risk of serious illness.
Some diseases can be spread by food, water or even coughing. The Health District asks for specific information from you depending on your illness so that contacts that may become sick can be identified. We also look at possible food or water sources so that a potential outbreak can be controlled.
- Blastocystis hominis
- Chlamydia Trachomatis
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
- Clostridium Difficile
- Cytomegalovirus, Congenital
- Dengue Fever
- E. Coli
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis
- Fifth Disease
- Genital Warts
- Granuloma Inguinale
- Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B (Perinatal)
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis E
- Herpes Simplex Virus
- Kawasaki Disease
- La Crosse Encephalitis Virus Disease
- Lyme Disease
- Meningitis, Bacterial
- Meningococcal Disease
- Mononucleosis, Infectious
- Mycobacterial Disease Other Than Tuberculosis
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- Powassan Virus Disease
- Q Fever
- Reyes Syndrome
- Rheumatic Fever
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- Staphylococcus Aureus
- St. Louis Encephalitis Virus Disease
- Streptococcus, Group B
- Streptococcus Pneumoniae
- Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome
- Swimmer’s Itch
- Toxic Shock Syndrome
- Typhoid Fever
- Typhus Fever
- Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
- Vancomycin-Resistent Enterococcus
- Varicella-Zoster Infections
- West Nile Virus Disease
- Yellow Fever