About Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance
Epidemiology is the study of the incidence, distribution and determinants of disease in a population. A key tenant of epidemiology is that disease does not occur at random; there are many factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of an individual contracting a disease.
The job of epidemiologists is to identify disease, search for the cause, identify who is at risk, and find ways to control or stop the spread of the disease. We are continuously surveying and monitoring a variety of diseases in Hays County.
There are many common illnesses that are constantly circulating through the population. Many other illnesses are seen on a much lesser basis. In Texas, there are 88 illnesses (called notifiable conditions) that providers (physicians, hospitals, labs, schools, etc.) are required to report to the health department. The list of notifiable conditions, along with the required timelines for reporting, can be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services website. In addition to these conditions, any outbreaks, exotic diseases, or unusual group expressions of disease should be reported in a timely manner. When reporting, please include patient name, age, sex, race/ethnicity, DOB, address, telephone number, disease, date of onset, method of diagnosis, and name, address, and telephone number of the person reporting.
Hays County Epidemiologists:
Juli Barksdale, MPH
Ian Harris, CIC
Epidemiology after hours number is 512-216-0162, leave a message and someone will respond within 48 hours. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911
Texas Health and Safety Code: Chapter 81, 84, and 87: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/HS/htm/HS.81.htm
Texas Administrative Code: Chapter 97, Title 25: http://www.vaccineinfo.net/exemptions/tact25p1s9762.shtml