When an infectious disease is identified by a laboratory or a physician's office, they are required by law to report this information to their local health department. The nursing staff will then contact the individual involved, to see if they have been treated, if any contacts were notified, and an investigation is initiated if indicated.
The Hancock County Health Department is authorized, by the Ohio Revised Code, to report to the Ohio Department of Health, all case reports of infectious disease. This information allows disease prevention, and control measures to be instituted, and in some cases, allows identification of disease outbreaks. The ultimate goal of the process is to protect and improve the health of the public, using the knowledge of incident cases to prevent the spread of disease, and ultimately, eliminate some diseases entirely. The conscientious cooperation of all players in the sequence-providers (reporters), local health jurisdictions, the State Health Department, and the CDC, is required for maximum service to the public.