Acute Communicable
Disease Control

Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, #212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856

Call 211 For Information 24/7

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Acute Communicable Disease Control
Communicable Disease Reporting System

An Explanation of Communicable Disease Reporting

Why Report?

Ultimately, to protect the public's health. Certain diseases are reportable by legal mandate (California Code of Regulations, Title 17) health care providers are required to report 83 different diseases, and laboratories are required to report 18 of those 83 diseases.

Furthermore, state and local Health Departments are responsible for disease surveillance. The primary objectives of disease surveillance are to determine the extent of disease within the community, to evaluate transmission risk, and to intervene rapidly when appropriate. For surveillance to be effective, the reporting of communicable diseases must be timely.

Who is required to report a communicable disease?

Medical doctors, osteopaths, 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 it to the local health department (California Code of Regulations 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 (CCR, Section 2508). Laboratories are required to report certain communicable diseases (CCR, Section 2505).

Who else might report a communicable disease?

Pharmacists, Animal/Vector Control staff, Emergency Medical personnel, etc. Private citizens are required to report suspected foodborne illnesses, even if they have not sought medical attention or had a true diagnosis. Please call the Morbidity/CD Surveillance Unit at (213) 240-7821.

Where do these reports go?

The reports remain confidential. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shares much of its investigation with the State Department of Health Services, and the State Health Department in turn reports certain diseases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

What are these reports used for?

Primarily for disease surveillance activities, as mentioned above. Disease prevention activities depend heavily on disease surveillance. Health departments work to prevent epidemics, for instance, which epidemiologists identify by comparing disease rates to preexisting "baseline" rates (normal or expected rates) for that disease. Data from these reports help epidemiologists establish these baselines for each disease. Another purpose of surveillance is identification of new, or emerging, infections in the community.

How can a communicable disease be reported?

A communicable disease can be reported by phone, fax, or e-mail through the Communicable Disease Reporting System (CDRS).

How can report forms be obtained?

Professional Reporting

All Other Diseases:

The "Confidential Morbidity Report" form may be downloaded/printed from here or requested from any local health center registrar or from the Morbidity/CD Reporting Unit at (213) 240-7821.

* Delay or failure to report communicable disease has contributed to serious consequences in the past and, since 1997, Is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000, or by imprisonment for a term of not more than 90 days, or by both. Each day the violation is continued is a separate offense. The confidentiality of patient information is always protected.

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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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