Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems. Chambers County Public Health is actively involved in public health surveillance activities or the "ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome-specific data for use in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice."
The Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapters 81, 84, and 87 require that specific information regarding certain diseases or injuries be provided to the health department (state, regional or local). These diseases and injuries are known as "notifiable conditions" and are updated yearly.
Healthcare providers, hospitals, laboratories, schools, and others must report patients suspected of having a notifiable condition (Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 97, Sub-chapter A, Rule 97.2).
These conditions should be reported to your local health department, which investigates each case and then forwards completed cases to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Infectious Disease Control Unit.
Notifiable conditions in Texas. In addition to these conditions, any outbreaks, exotic diseases, and unusual group expressions of disease must be reported. All diseases shall be reported by name, age, sex, race/ethnicity, DOB, address, telephone number, disease, date of onset, method of diagnosis, and name, address, and telephone number of physician.
The List indicates when to report each condition. Cases or suspected cases of illness considered to be public health emergencies, outbreaks, exotic diseases, and unusual group expressions of disease must be reported to the local health department or DSHS immediately. Other diseases for which there must be a quick public health response must be reported within one working day. All other conditions must be reported to the local health department or DSHS within one week.
Most notifiable conditions, or other illnesses that may be of public health significance, should be reported directly to Chambers County Health Department or Department of State Health Services. See exceptions marked by * on the Texas Notifiable Conditions List. Paper reporting forms can be obtained by downloading the PDF form at the links above in the Reporting Forms area above. As a last resort or in case of emergency, reports can be made by telephone to the state office at 888-963-7111. After hours this number will reach the physician/epidemiologist on call.
Epidemiologists play a significant role in the eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases. These approaches and successful actions have revolutionized and revitalized public health. The eradication of smallpox marked the first time that humans have knowingly removed a disease from Earth. Vaccination strategies and ongoing surveillance were the primary tools used to successfully eradicate smallpox. Many of these diseases can be prevented with vaccines.
This section contains resources for schools and daycare workers to help prevent the spread of influenza and other communicable diseases. We urge you to stay informed, continue to promote good hygiene practices, and encourage students and staff members to stay home if they begin experiencing flu-like symptoms.
We urge all schools and daycare centers to participate in the voluntary flu reporting activity during the months of October - May. If you would like to participate please Email the Health Department.
This reporting form is to be used for most conditions as it is designed to track the collection of the information necessary to classify a case as confirmed, probable, or dropped before it is entered into the notifiable conditions database.
This reporting form collects information for multiple cases on one piece of paper when that is appropriate. It is not appropriate for disease case reports from multiple reporters to be placed on the same sheet.