Communicable Disease Reporting

Why report?

The primary objectives of disease surveillance are:

  1. Protecting the health of the public;
  2. To determine the extent of morbidity within the community;
  3. To evaluate risk of transmission;
  4. To intervene rapidly when appropriate.

Communicable Disease Reporting

Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 17 (Section 2500), public health professionals, medical providers and others are mandated to report approximately 85 diseases or conditions to their local health department. Additionally, anyone in charge of any type of school is also required to report these diseases (Section 2508), as are Laboratories (Section 2505).

Delay or Failure to Report

Delay or failure to report communicable diseases has contributed to secondary transmission in the past. Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, (Section 1364.10), failure to report a communicable disease is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000, or by imprisonment for a term of not more than 90 days, or both. Each day the violation is continued is a separate offense. The Medical Board of California has made failure to report in a timely manner a citable offense under California Business and Professions Code(Section 2234), "Unprofessional Conduct."

HIPAA and Public Health

The Privacy Rule permits covered entities to disclose protected health information, without authorization, to public health authorities who are legally authorized to receive such reports for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability.

Data and Reports

Vaccine Preventable Disease Data and Reports are available at from the Santa Barbara Public Health Epidemiology website.