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Community Epidemiology

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Community Epidemiology

Disease Reporting Requirements for Health Care Providers

For more information phone 619-515-6620 or send us an email.

Reporting is crucial for disease surveillance and detection of disease outbreaks. Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 17 (Section 2500), public health professionals, medical providers and others are mandated to report more than 80 diseases or conditions to San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency. In addition, persons in charge of any type of school are also required to report these diseases (Section 2508), as are Laboratories (Section 2505).

Facilities where this Service is offered:


Who is required to report a communicable disease?

Physicians, surgeons, 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 to the local health department (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 (Section 2508). Laboratories are required to report certain communicable diseases (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. Please call the Community Epidemiology Branch at (619) 515-6620 or contact the Department of Environmental Health, Food and Housing Division at (619) 338-2356.

How do I report?

To report a communicable disease, you may contact the Community Epidemiology Branch by phone at (619) 515-6620. For urgent matters on evenings, weekends or holidays, dial (858) 565-5255 and ask for the epidemiologist on call. You can also download and print a Confidential Morbidity Report (CMR) form and fax it to (619) 515-6644. The new CMR form was developed by the California Department of Public Health and local health departments to facilitate and improve disease reporting in California.

For laboratorians, please refer to the Disease Reporting Requirements for Laboratorians page.

Report immediately by telephone (designated by a in regulations).
Report immediately by telephone when two or more cases or suspected cases of foodborne disease from separate households are suspected to have the same source of illness (designated by a in regulations).
FAX  Report by FAX, telephone, or mail within one working day of identification (designated by a + in regulations).
 All other diseases/conditions should be reported by FAX, telephone, or mail within seven calendar days of identification.

What diseases and conditions are healthcare professionals required to report?

 Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
(HIV infection only: see "Human Immunodeficiency Virus")
FAX  Amebiasis
Avian Influenza (human)
FAX  Babesiosis
Botulism (Infant, Foodborne, Wound)
FAX  Campylobacteriosis
FAX  Chickenpox (only hospitalizations and deaths)
 Chlamydia trachomatis infections including Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)
Ciguatera Fish Poisoning
FAX  Colorado Tick Fever
 Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and other Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE)
FAX  Cryptosporidiosis
 Cysticercosis or Taeniasis
Domoic Acid Poisoning (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning)
FAX  Encephalitis, Specify Etiology: Viral, Bacterial, Fungal, Parasitic
Escherichia coli: shiga toxin producing (STEC) including E. coli O157
 FAX  Foodborne Disease*
 Gonococcal Infections
FAX  Haemophilus influenzae invasive disease (report an incident less than 15 years of age)
Hantavirus Infections
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
 Hepatitis, Viral
FAX  Hepatitis A
 Hepatitis B (specify acute case or chronic)
 Hepatitis C (specify acute case or chronic)
 Hepatitis D (Delta)
 Hepatitis, other (acute)
 Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (§2641-2643)
 Influenza deaths (report an incident of less than 18 years of age)
 Kawasaki Syndrome (Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome)
 Leprosy (Hansen Disease)
FAX  Listeriosis
 Lyme Disease 
FAX  Malaria
FAX  Measles (Rubeola)
FAX  Meningitis, Specify Etiology: Viral, Bacterial, Fungal, Parasitic
Meningococcal Infections
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
 Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
FAX  Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Plague, Human or Animal
FAX  Poliovirus Infection
FAX  Psittacosis
FAX  Q Fever
Rabies, Human or Animal
FAX  Relapsing Fever
 Rheumatic Fever, Acute
 Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
 Rubella (German Measles)
 Rubella Syndrome, Congenital
FAX  Salmonellosis (Other than Typhoid Fever)
Scombroid Fish Poisoning
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Shiga toxin (detected in feces)
FAX  Shigellosis
Smallpox (Variola)
FAX  Staphylococcus aureus Infections (only case resulting in death or admission to an intensive care unit of a person who has not been hospitalized or had surgery, dialysis, or residency in a long-term care facility in the past year, and did not have an indwelling catheter or percutaneous medical device at the time of culture).
FAX  Streptococcal Infections (Outbreaks of Any Type and Individual Cases in Food Handlers and Dairy Workers Only).
FAX  Syphilis
 Toxic Shock Syndrome
FAX  Trichinosis
FAX  Tuberculosis
FAX  Typhoid Fever, Cases and Carriers
 Typhus Fever
FAX  Vibrio Infections
Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (e.g., Crimean-Congo, Ebola, Lassa, and Marburg viruses)
FAX  Water-Associated Disease (e.g., Swimmer's Itch or Hot Tub Rash)
FAX  West Nile Virus (WNV) Infection
Yellow Fever
FAX  Yersiniosis
OUTBREAKS of ANY DISEASE (Including diseases not listed in §2500). Specify if institutional and/or open community.
Disorders Characterized by Lapses of Consciousness (§2800-2812)
Cancer, including benign and borderline brain tumors (except (1) basal and squamous skin cancer unless occurring on genitalia, and (2) carcinoma in-situ and CIN III of the cervix) (§2593)***
Pesticide-related illness or injury (known or suspected cases)**
Invasive Group A Streptococcal Infection

* Report immediately by telephone when two or more cases or suspected cases of foodborne diseases from separate households are suspected to have the same source of illness.

** Failure to report is a citable offense and subject to civil penalty ($250) (Health and Safety Code §105200).

*** The Confidential Physician Cancer Reporting Form may also be used. See Physician Reporting Requirements for Cancer Reporting in CA at


HIPAA and Communicable Disease Reporting

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 included legislative deadlines for the creation of federal regulations regarding the privacy of health information. Acting on those deadlines, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services issued the proposed Privacy Rule in 1999. The final Privacy Rule became effective April 14, 2003. The final Privacy Rule does allow communicable diseases reporting as part of permitted disclosures for public health activities (45 CFR 164.512). No consent or authorization is required.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about HIPAA

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The CDC also has a web page (see link below) addressing common questions regarding HIPAA and public health reporting. In addition, the following are some websites and resources related to HIPAA and reporting.

Failure to Report

Failure to report is a misdemeanor (Health and Safety Code §20295) and is a citable offense under the Medical Board of California's Citation and Fine Program (Title 16, CCR, §2800 1364).


For more information phone 619-515-6620 or send us an email.