Our goal is to prevent and reduce the spread of disease through surveillance, control and education. Certain diseases, called reportable communicable diseases, are required by law to be reported to the local health department.
When a disease is reported, our staff contacts the primary care provider, patient, and/or family to try to find out how the person became sick and to teach them how to stop the spread of the disease.
What is a communicable disease?
A communicable, or infectious, disease is spread from one person to another or from an animal to a person. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are the most common organisms that cause communicable disease. These illnesses can be passed through direct contact with body fluids, ingesting contaminated food or water, breathing contaminated air, or by the bite of an infected animal/insect.
What diseases are reported?
In Ohio, there are many diseases that are required to be reported to a local health department. These diseases are organized into three classes based on the type of disease, public health concern, and when they should be reported.
- Class A: Diseases of major public health concern because of the severity of disease or potential for epidemic spread – report immediately via telephone upon recognition that a case, a suspected case, or a positive laboratory result exists.
- Class B: Disease of public health concern needing timely response because of potential for epidemic spread – report by the end of the next business day after the existence of a case, a suspected case, or a positive laboratory result is known.
- Class C: Report an outbreak, unusual incident or epidemic of other diseases (e.g. histoplasmosis, pediculosis, scabies, staphylococcal infections) by the end of the next business day.
A full list of reportable communicable diseases is available from the Ohio Department of Health.
How do I report a communicable disease?
To report a Class A Disease:
During Health Department Business Hours (Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm), please call 419-599-5545 and alert staff that you need to report a class A reportable disease.
After normal business hours, please contact the Henry County Sheriff at 419-592-8010 or call 911. You should notify them that you would like to report a Class A reportable disease to the health department.
For non-Class A reportable diseases:
Fax lab report and/or completed Ohio Confidential Reportable Disease form to the health department using our confidential fax number 419-591-3064.
Who should report communicable diseases?
- Healthcare providers (physicians, hospitals, infection control professionals) with knowledge of a case or suspect case of a disease which is required to be reported
- Laboratories that examine specimens of human origin with evidence of diseases which are required to be reported
- Any individual having knowledge of a person suffering from a disease suspected of being communicable
Forms to report a communicable diseases:
- Ohio Confidential Reportable Disease Form
- Ohio Enteric Case Investigation Form
- Varicella Surveillance Worksheet
More information about communicable diseases: