A communicable disease is an infection that spreads from person to person. The health department’s goal is to prevent and reduce the spread of these illnesses. This is done through our communicable disease program.
Health Department Role
The health department investigates all reported communicable disease outbreaks. Hospitals, healthcare facilities, and physicians are required to report certain communicable diseases to the health department. Reports of suspected communicable disease outbreak are also received from schools, labs, individuals, and other entities in the community. When a report is received, the health department conducts an investigation to identify the cause, determine if an outbreak occurred, and recommend any necessary follow up action. In some cases, the investigation will require the health department to notify contacts of the affected individual who may also require treatment. The health department will also provide education to affected individuals to prevent further spread of the illness.
Reporting Communicable Diseases
Per Ohio law, some diseases must be reported to the local health department (Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-02 and 3701-3-03). Reportable diseases are those of a public health concern because of their severity, potential to spread to other people, and cause for public health concern. It is important to report these diseases quickly to reduce the chances of transmission to other people.
Use this link to find the most current reporting requirements: Know Your ABCs: A Quick Guide to Reportable Infectious Diseases in Ohio
Communicable diseases can be reported to the health department 24 hours per day, 7 days per week via the Health Department Hotline. After regular business hours, calls will be transferred to the Shelby Police Department, who will notify appropriate health department personnel.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT HOTLINE: (419) 342-5226