About Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance
The role of the Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance department is to provide monitoring, analyzing and reporting the prevalence, spread and severity of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Hays County.
Epidemiology is a field that looks at many aspects of diseases, more specifically: who is getting the disease, and when and where the disease is occurring. Epidemiologic information from these investigations is used to detect and monitor trends or changes in the population’s health, as well as monitor disease outbreaks.
There are 82 notifiable conditions in the state of Texas. Notifiable conditions in Hays County are to be reported to the Hays County Epidemiologist. There are diseases that are to be reported immediately, within one working day or be reported within one week. The list of notifiable conditions can be found at: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/investigation/conditions/
All conditions/diseases need to be reported in compliance with the given time frame. Outbreaks or unusual occurrences such as exotic diseases or an unusual number of diseases should also be reported, even if the occurrence is not a notifiable condition.
Under the Texas Health and Safety Code and Texas Administrative code, anyone who has knowledge of a suspect or confirmed case of a notifiable condition is required to report the information to the Hays County Epidemiologist. Individuals who are required to report include, but are not limited to: health care providers, hospitals, laboratories, and schools.
Texas laws for reporting notifiable conditions:
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
How to contact the Hays County Epidemiologist Team:
Ian Harris, 512.393.5524, Ian.Harris@co.hays.tx.us
If you are unable to reach us or if we are out of the office, please call the Texas DSHS Region 7 Office (24/7) phone number at 254.778.6744 and ask for Epidemiology.