Notifiable Disease and Emergency Public Health Resources
|Ebola||The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) both provide resources and updates on Ebola to healthcare providers including detection, proper infection control, and reporting procedures.|
|Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH)||The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. At the state level, DPH functions through numerous divisions, sections, programs, and offices. Locally, DPH funds and collaborates with Georgia’s 159 county health departments and 18 public health districts.|
|Georgia Public Health Laboratory User’s Guide||Provides analytical and technical support to continually evolving state and federal public health programs through epidemiology, direct program support including laboratory testing for STD, TB and HIV, the Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program and information on legal requirements including mandated newborn metabolic and sickle cell screening.|
|Georgia Health Alert Network||Health Alert Network (HAN) is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents with public information officers; federal, state, territorial, and local public health practitioners; clinicians; and public health laboratories.|
|Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Reporting Guidelines||Effective Jan. 1, 2016, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) was added to the list of conditions that are notifiable by law to the Georgia Department of Public Health
|Notifiable Disease Report Form District office / Epidemiologist Locator||To assist the GDPH to accurately assess what diseases are present within the community, this form is utilized to report any of the mandated notifiable diseases listed on the Notifiable Disease report poster. Georgia is a dual reporting state. All Georgia physicians, laboratories and other healthcare providers are required by law (O.C.G.A. §31-12-2. and O.C.G.A. §31-22-7) to report patients with conditions classified as reportable. Both lab-confirmed and clinical diagnoses are reportable within the time interval specified. Reporting enables appropriate public health follow-up for patients, helps identify outbreaks, and provides a better understanding of disease trends in Georgia.|
|Notifiable Disease-Condition Electronic Reporting||Access to SendSS for electronic reporting of any positive communicable disease lab results. (Both laboratories and providers are responsible for reporting any positive communicable disease lab results. This reporting is done predominantly via telephone, fax, mail, and/or electronic upload.)|
|Notifiable Disease Report Poster||Outlines notifiable disease conditions and reporting timelines.|
A User’s Guide to Georgia’s Public Health Laboratory
Every year, Georgia newspaper headlines report multiple outbreaks of influenza as confirmed by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory (GPHL). While high-profile public health issues such as influenza capture the public’s attention, the vital screening, diagnostic and reference laboratory services provided by the GPHL throughout the year are essential components of Georgia’s overall public health infrastructure.
GPHL’s principal role is to provide analytical and technical support to continually evolving state and federal public health programs through:
Direct Program Support: Includes laboratory testing for STD, TB and HIV and for the Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program. Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV testing (in addition to newborn screening) produce the GPHL’s largest volume of specimens.
Legal Requirements: Includes mandated newborn metabolic and sickle cell screening. Physicians throughout the state can access screening results with a touch-tone telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week using the Voice Response System (VRS) for the Newborn Screening Program. To ensure confidentiality and security, a state medical license number or a submitter code number is required to access the system, as well as a personal identification number (PIN) assigned at the time of enrollment.
Once registered, screening results for any child born in Georgia can be accessed using the Social Security number of the infant’s mother. The newly designed specimen collection form, which includes a space for the mother’s SSN, is already in circulation.
Epidemiology: Helps monitor reportable diseases by providing notification of positive tests performed in the laboratory for influenza, rabies, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and giardiasis.
Each year, from October to mid-May, Georgia’s Division of Public Health tracks cases of influenza throughout the state with the help of volunteer sentinel physicians. While each individual case of influenza is not reportable to health authorities, influenza activity is monitored by watching the percentage of doctors’ visits for “influenza-like illness” (fever >100 F and cough and/or sore throat). In addition to weekly reporting, these volunteer providers send throat swabs from patients for laboratory testing (virologic confirmation and subtyping).
Based on testing conducted each week at the GPHL, the Georgia Division of Public Health posts information on circulating influenza strains here. The data is then entered into a database to help determine which strains will be included in next year’s influenza vaccine. All data collected by Georgia sentinel physicians are sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for inclusion in the nationwide network.
Reference Testing: Includes definitive, complex or new tests on specimens or referred cultures, principally in bacteriology, mycobacteriology or virology.