skip to content

Epidemiology (Communicable Diseases)

Epidemiology

  •  772-794-7472
  •  

    Fax

    772-794-7482
  •  

    Mailing Address

    1900 27th Street 

    Vero Beach, FL 32960 

     

Communicable Disease Reporting Hotline (24/7/365 Accessibility)
Ph: 772-794-7472 / Fax: 772-794-7482

Disease Reporting for Healthcare Professionals

EPIDEMIOLOGY
Epidemiology has been defined as the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and injury in human populations. Epidemiologists study variations of disease in relation to such factors as person (who), place (where), and time (when). Also of concern are temporal distributions of disease, disease trends, and the interval between the exposure to causative factors and onset of disease. The scope of the field extends from study of the patterns of disease to the causes of disease to the control or prevention of disease.

  • Epidemiologists are involved in a wide range of activities. These activities include:
    • The health needs of the population
    • Investigation and control of disease outbreaks
    • Study of environmental and industrial hazards
    • Evaluation of preventive or curative programs or treatments
    • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the interventions or control strategies

The Florida Department of Health in Indian River County's Division of Epidemiology offers the following services to our community:

  • Surveillance of mandatory reportable diseases
  • Prevention of disease through contact follow-up and health education
  • Educational materials
  • Bioterrorism preparedness


REPORTING NOTIFIABLE DISEASES & CONDITIONS

Reporting suspect and confirmed notifiable diseases or conditions in the State of Florida is mandated under Florida Statute 381.0031, Rule 64D-3, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).  Persons in charge of laboratories, practitioners, hospitals, medical facilities, schools, nursing homes, state institutions, or other locations providing health services are required to report diseases or conditions and the associated laboratory test results listed in the Table of Notifiable Diseases or Conditions, Rule 64D-3, F.A.C. Reporting test results by a laboratory does not nullify the practitioners obligation to also report the disease or condition.

Physicians, laboratorians, infection control practitioners, and other healthcare providers play a key role in the state and local public health department efforts to control notifiable diseases.  The public health system depends upon reports of disease to monitor the health of the community and to provide the basis for preventive action.

Practitioners are required to report upon the initial clinical suspicion of the disease, prior to confirmatory diagnosis, certain diseases of urgent public health importance. Diseases warranting report upon suspicion (termed Suspect Immediately) should be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so the necessary public health response can be initiated in a timely and effective manner. Practitioners are also responsible to supply laboratories with all necessary information for the laboratories to fulfill the specified laboratory reporting requirements.

In an effort to assist practitioners and laboratories in meeting their obligations to report notifiable diseases and conditions, the Florida Department of Health has prepared Healthcare Practitioner Reporting Guidelines of Notifiable Diseases or Conditions in Florida and Laboratory Reporting Guidelines for Reportable Diseases and Conditions in Florida. These guides are not intended to cover every aspect of Rule 64D-3, F.A.C., but to provide a summary and explanation of practitioner and laboratory reporting requirements.  More disease reporting resources and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at the Florida Department of Health Disease Reporting Information webpage or by calling 772-794-7472.

For more information on Epidemiology Health Services at the health department, please call (772) 794-7472.


 
*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF).  The free Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to view these files.