Our Responsibility

The epidemiology department at Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District is responsible for receiving and investigating communicable disease reports within the City of Abilene and Taylor County. In addition, the epidemiology department is involved in tracking and responding to potential communicable disease outbreaks. Our activities also include, analyzing and disseminating communicable disease information, identifying disease trends, providing education and guidance to community partners and providing analytical support during program planning and evaluation within the health department and community.

Disease Reporting

You may confidentially report diseases by phone or fax:

  • Phone: 325-676-6355
  • After-Hours: 880-705-8868
  • Confidential Fax: 325-676-6358

Please fill out a disease reporting form* and include supporting lab results when faxing reports. Please note that your office may be contacted for additional information.

Why do I need to report communicable diseases & notable conditions?

Several Texas laws require that certain conditions (suspected, probable or confirmed) be reported to the state or local health department.

Efficient disease surveillance helps

  • Protect the health of the public
  • Determine the extent of morbidity within the community
  • Identify and evaluate risk factors
  • Promptly detect potential outbreaks
Who is responsible for reporting communicable diseases?

Texas laws mandate that the following are responsible for disease reporting:

  • Physicians, dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors
  • Hospitals and hospital laboratories
  • School authorities, including a superintendent, principal, teacher, school health official or counselor
  • Any professional having knowledge of a suspected reportable condition

Please note not all laboratories report directly to the health department. Health professionals are responsible for reporting cases regardless of whether it may be reported by another agency.

What is reportable?

The list of Texas notifiable conditions can be found here:
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/investigation/conditions/*

There are diseases that are to be reported immediately, within one working day or within one week. All conditions/diseases need to be reported in compliance with the given time frame. Outbreaks, rare occurrences such as exotic diseases or an unusual number of diseases should also be reported, even if it is not a notifiable condition.

 

Resources

The Role of Public Health in Public Health Emergencies

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