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Disease Reporting FAQs

  1. What is the legal basis for reporting?

  • Under the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 17 (Section 2500), public health professionals, medical providers, and others are mandated to report more than 80 diseases or conditions to the Imperial County Public Health Department. In addition, persons in charge of any type of school are also required to report these diseases (Section 2508), as are laboratories (Section 2505).
  1. What diseases and conditions must be reported?

  • Refer to the list of reportable diseases for specific diseases and conditions and the time frames for reporting. Outbreaks of any disease (whether on the list or not) are reportable. This list is also located on the back of the Confidential Morbidity Report (CMR).
  1. Who is required to report?

  • Physicians, surgeons, veterinarians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, nurse midwives, infection control practitioners, medical examiners, coroners, dentists, and administrators of health facilities and clinics knowing of a case or suspected case of a communicable disease are required to report to the local health department (CCR, Title 17, Section 2500). In addition, anyone in charge of a public or private school, kindergarten, boarding school, or preschool also is required to report these diseases. Laboratories are also required to report communicable diseases.
  1. How soon do I need to report a case?

  • Certain diseases and conditions must be reported immediately by telephone. These include cases of anthrax, botulism, rabies, hemolytic uremic syndrome, and dengue. Two or more cases or suspected cases of foodborne disease from suspected households that are believed to have the same source of illness must be reported to the Public Health Department immediately by telephone. Refer to the list of reportable diseases for the reporting time frame for other diseases and conditions.
  1. How does HIPAA affect disease reporting?

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows communicable disease reporting as part of permitted disclosures for public health activities. No consent or authorization is required.
  1. Do I report cases that reside out of county?

  • Yes, all cases of reportable diseases that are diagnosed by an Imperial County health-care provider, veterinarian, clinic, lab, hospital, or other facility are required to be reported to the Imperial County Public Health Department.
  1. Who can I contact for more information?