Reporting a Disease to the Health Department
Which disease / conditions should be reported?
The Connecticut Department of Public Health creates a list of reportable diseases, emergency illnesses and health conditions that are reportable. The list is updated annually and released in January. Click here to see the 2013 list.
Most of the diseases on the list are caused by infections. However, the list also includes diseases from certain non-infectious agents (e.g., lead toxicity) and outbreaks (e.g., foodborne, institutional or unusual).
Who is required to report a disease/ outbreak on the list?
Any health care provider who treats or examines a person who has or is suspected to have a disease on the list is required by law to report.
In a health care facility, the person in charge of the facility must make sure the disease is reported. He/she should designate someone who is responsible for reporting at the facility.
Food service facilities, schools, camps, vessels, aircraft and funeral homes are required to report if the person with the disease is not seen by a clinician and is not in a health care facility or if the clinician/facility has not reported.
How do I report a disease on the list? How quickly do I need to report the disease?
The reportable diseases / outbreaks are classified as Category 1 or Category 2 diseases.
Category 1 diseases should be reported by telephone on the day of recognition or strong suspicion of diseases. A report must also be mailed within 12 hours. On the list these diseases are marked with a telephone.
Category 2 diseases should be reported by mail within 12 hours of recognition or strong suspicion.
A mailed report must be sent in an envelope marked “CONFIDENTIAL”.
Who should the report be sent to?
Disease should be reported to the local director of health of the town in which the patient resides and to the CT Department of Public Health.
Telephone reports of Category 1 disease should be made to the local director of health for the town in which the patient resides and to the Epidemiology and Emerging Infections Program (860-509-7994).
Tuberculosis cases should be directly reported to the Tuberculosis Control Program (860-509-7722).
For the name, address, or telephone number of the local Director of Health for a specific town contact the Office of Local Health Administration (860-509-7660).
For public health emergencies, an epidemiologist can be reached evenings, weekends, and holidays through the DPH emergency number (860-509-8000).
If the laboratory is required to report an infection, do I, as a clinician, still have to report?
Yes. Laboratories are required to report laboratory evidence suggestive of a reportable disease, but this is not a substitute for reporting by a clinician. This is particularly important because clinicians have more information which is important to communicable disease control than is available to the laboratory.
What form should I use to report a disease /outbreak?
Most diseases / outbreaks should be reported using the PD 23 form. Specialized reporting forms are available for HIV/AIDS Surveillance, Sexually Transmitted Disease , Tuberculosis and Hospitalized and Fatal Cases of Influenza.
What information should be reported?
Reports (mailed, faxed, or telephoned into the DPH) should include the full name and address of the person reporting, attending physician, disease, illness or condition, and full name, address, date of birth, race/ethnicity, sex and occupation of the person affected.