State law: “report diseases to avoid outbreaks”

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – After a confirmed case of the mumps earlier this month, health officials are making sure the public knows how to stay safe.

And doctors are an important part of that process. The health department says it is state law to report communicable diseases if they’re diagnosed.

It can be devastating to the public if that law isn’t followed to the letter.

Reporting these diseases is crucial to the containment of outbreaks. All health care providers are required to report any disease on the list to the health department.

This helps with the communication process between providers.

“We are the centralized location where we’re able to tell if there’s an outbreak. So many people go to different places and let them know their symptoms. Those will never be considered an outbreak unless there’s someone to recognize there’s more than one case and that’s us,” said Christina Keller, Vigo County Health Department.

But unfortunately, sometimes these reports are left by the wayside and that makes it more difficult to track and stop the outbreaks.

“We also know there are cases that go unreported that may have seen a doctor, may have gone to the ER. So we highly recommend that everything on the reportable list is reported. It makes our job here and keeping the public healthy and safe, and keeps outbreaks to a minimum,” said Keller.

Now, there’s more than just mumps on that list to be reported.

Dog bites, food poisoning and measles are also on the list, just to name a few.

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