COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PREVENTION
Fairfield County Health Department staff work to protect your health through monitoring certain communicable diseases in Fairfield County, and alerting you if there is a potential outbreak. At health departments, experts called epidemiologists study the causes of diseases and how to control their spread in populations of people.
When there are reported cases to the Fairfield County Health Department, public health nurses and the epidemiologist work with doctors and other healthcare providers to better understand why this is happening and how to prevent contagious diseases from spreading. The odh.ohio.gov provided here gives a listing of all communicable diseases that health care providers must report to the state of Ohio.
The epidemiologist uses a nationally-standardized questionnaire to follow up with these sick people to try to figure out where their illness had come from. In a national outbreak, epidemiologists from other health districts with sick people do the same surveying. Together, their compiled data helps track down the source of a potentially fatal illness.
Though the Fairfield County Health Department does investigate lab confirmed cases that are reported to them, they may not have ALL cases that might exist in a place or area, so it may be hard for the epidemiologist to conduct investigations linking all cases together.
The Fairfield County Health Department does provide guidance and direction to controlling the spread of possible communicable disease by giving counsel, such as educational information below as to what they can do to avoid contracting the disease.
You may wish to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does the Fairfield County Health Department find out I am sick?
When your doctor makes the diagnosis or the lab test comes back, your doctor or the lab is required by law to report certain illnesses to the local health department. They may do this by phone, fax, or through the Ohio Department of Health Disease Report System, which is a computerized database.
Why does the Fairfield Department of Health have a need to know about my sickness?
- Your illness impacts more people than just yourself, which is why the Fairfield County Health Department will be alerted.
- Your illness may be caused by a bacteria which is becoming more resistant to the medications used to treat it.
- You may have a sickness which could be easily spread to other family members or the public.
For instance, you might have an illness that could spread through food, water or animals.
- Your illness may be one that you can identify the exact person who gave it to you. The Health District can get in touch with that person so they can seek treatment.
Why does the Fairfield Department of Health need to know where I went or what I ate?
Some diseases can be spread by food, water or even coughing, for instance. The Fairfield County Health Department asks for specific information from you depending on your illness so that others who might become sick can be identified. We also look at possible food or water sources so that a potential outbreak can be controlled.
Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
If you have questions about the communicable disease program, the reporting process, or diseases in general, you can call the Fairfield County Health Department at 740-652-2800 and ask to speak with the epidemiologist or the communicable disease nurse. Our staff will be happy to answer your questions, but these staff members will not diagnosis illnesses. You will be referred to your doctor for specific questions about your symptoms and/or treatment options.