Communicable Disease Surveillance & Response
The Health Department monitors the incidence of, and responds to cases of, communicable disease in Orange County. The goal of these efforts is to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
To accomplish this goal, Health Department staff monitors and analyzes data collected by the New York State Department of Health, and investigates reports of communicable disease cases from hospitals, laboratories and physicians’ offices in Orange County. The Department also monitors emergency services, school absenteeism, and other data to provide early detection of disease outbreaks.
To contain outbreaks, Department staff provides health education for patients with reportable communicable diseases, contacts physicians who are treating these patients, and finds and educates people who have had contact with these patients.
The Health Department works with schools and other community organizations to initiate public health control measures when appropriate to contain the spread of communicable disease.
County Health Department staff work with the New York State Department of Health on communicable disease issues on a daily basis. When appropriate, the Department also works closely with the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to respond to outbreaks. A recent school-based mumps outbreak, for example, was contained through an aggressive, joint immunization effort by the County and State Health Departments and the CDC.
Below, is the list of reportable communicable diseases:
- Animal bites for which rabies prophlyaxis is given
- Arboviral Infection
- Coronavirus (Server or Novel)
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
- Foodborne Illness
- Hantavirus disease
- Hepatitis A in a food handler
- Monkeypox (Mpox)
- Q Fever
- Staphylococcal enterotoxin B Posioning
- Syphilis, Specify stage – during pregnancy or in infants / neonate
- Tuberculosis current disease (Specify site)
- Vaccinia disease
- Viral hemorrhagic fever
Reporting of suspected or confirmed communicable diseases is mandated under the New York State Sanitary Code (10NYCRR 2.10,2.14). The primary responsibility for reporting rests with the physician; moreover, laboratories (PHL 2102), school nurses (10NYCRR 2.12), day care center directors, nursing homes/hospitals (10NYCRR405.3d) and state institutions (10NYCRR 2.10a) or other locations providing health services (10NYCRR 2.12) are also required to report the diseases.