Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Surveillance
Infectious Diseases, also called Communicable Diseases, are illness caused by germs. There are four main kinds of germs: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi and Parasites.
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health states and events in specified population. Epidemiology is a scientific discipline that collects, analysis and interpret data to describe the frequency and pattern of heath events. Understanding the event will help with its prevention and control.
The Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Surveillance Division is responsible for epidemiology surveillance of communicable diseases in Pinal County health jurisdiction according to guidelines by the Arizona Department of health Services. The division main role is to maintain surveillance of infectious diseases in the community, to support community partners and stakeholders on prevention, control and mitigation efforts, and to respond to communicable diseases outbreaks.
This division is organized in four programs:
- General Infectious disease prevention and control program
- Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevention and control program
- Tuberculosis prevention and control program
- Data analysis
Every member of the team is cross trained and capable to support any infectious disease epidemiology investigation. Working an outbreak usually requires more personnel than the people assigned per program.
Infectious Diseases Reporting and Surveillance
Reporting cases of infectious diseases and related conditions is a vital step in controlling and preventing the spread of communicable diseases. The rules that guide communicable diseases on when, what and how to report are defined in the Arizona Administrative Code Title 9, chapter 6.
The authority for the state and local health departments to collect and receive this information is defined in the HIPAA “privacy rule” 45 CFR§164.501. Pursuant to 45CFR§164.512(b) of the privacy rule, covered entities may disclose protected health information to public health authorities “for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, including, but not limited to, the reporting of diseases, injury, vital events such as births or deaths, and the conduct of public health surveillance, public health investigations and public health interventions”
Under Arizona Administrative Code (AAC) R9-6-202, 203, 204, and 205, the following entities or their authorized representatives shall submit a communicable disease report to the local health agency.
- Healthcare providers and correctional facilities
- Clinical labs(including any facility performing lab testing)
- Schools, child care establishments, and shelters
- Veterinary professionals
- Veterinary professionals
- Local Health agencies
Violation of reporting rules is a class III misdemeanor and is subject to referral to the facility's licensing agency or provider's state licensing board, as defined in ARS§36-140.
For more information on communicable disease reporting, please visit: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/index.php#reporting-home
Healthcare provider reportable disease list
can be found at: https://www.azdhs.gov/documents/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/communicable-disease-reporting/reportable-diseases-list.pdf