Communicable Disease Control
Defiance County General Health District tracks, reports, and conducts surveillance of Communicable Disease in Defiance County. Nursing staff receives reports of Communicable Diseases from laboratories and healthcare providers. When a report is received, nursing staff follows Ohio’s Communicable Disease Reporting Requirements. The purpose of disease reporting is control and prevent the disease being reported, document the distribution of disease in Ohio, and to identify outbreaks of disease.
In addition to tracking, reporting and surveillance, the health department receives many calls from people concerned about the risk of exposure to various germs and illnesses. A person can become infected in many different ways, including:
- From person to person through direct contact, or close contact to an infectious person.
- From touching infectious material and then touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- From a healthy person who is not sick, or not showing illness symptoms, but is a “carrier” and spread illness to others.
- From household pets and other animals that may be a carrier of germs.
- The rabies virus (spread through saliva), which can infect cats and dogs, is one of the more serious illnesses that can infect humans. Pet reptiles, such as turtles and chickens can transmit Salmonella bacteria to humans.
- From tiny critters, such as mosquitoes and ticks, that carry a variety of germs such as the germs that cause West Nile Virus and Lyme disease.
- From contaminated water and food resulting in food-borne illness or “food poisoning”.
The number one tool for preventing the spread of germs is practicing good hand washing. This seems so simple, yet many people do not pay attention to this very basic germ stopper. It is best to wash hands with soap and clean water for 20 seconds (for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), rubbing hands together to make a lather. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol- based hand sanitizer can be used to clean the hands, rubbing the product over all surfaces of the hands and fingers until hands are dry.
Nursing staff must follow State reporting requirements to track and control communicable disease in Defiance County. Reporting requirements are based on diseases on Ohio’s ABC list. An explanation of reporting requirements can be found here. The Community Health division issues a monthly report to the Board of Health, and to notify the public of communicable diseases in Defiance County.
In the event of a Class A Reportable Disease please contact the Defiance County Public Health (419)784-3818 after hours call Defiance County Sheriff at (419) 784-1155 or call 911.