Medical providers can report cases of notifiable illness by:
- Entering the case directly into the State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (SendSS) after requesting access
- Calling the Epidemiology unit at 706-583-2868 during business hours
- Faxing the Epidemiology unit at 706-369-5640 using a GA DPH notifiable disease report form
- Calling 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584) if outside of normal business hours
For more detailed information about reporting notifiable diseases, visit: https://dph.georgia.gov/epidemiology/disease-reporting
A notifiable disease or condition is one which is required by law to be reported to the Department of Public Health (DPH). Notifiable diseases and conditions may vary from state to state; however, CDC maintains a list of required nationally reportable conditions that all states should include on their respective lists. In Georgia, some diseases must be reported immediately, while others must be reported within 7 days. A complete list of these conditions can be found here: List of Notifiable Diseases
If you are a patient at one of our clinics, we may call to remind you of an upcoming appointment or to discuss lab results or other issues related to your visit. If you are not a current patient, our Epidemiology unit may be attempting to reach you. When the Epidemiology unit receives a notifiable disease report, our staff may reach out to the patient and/or their provider to ask follow-up questions to assist the patient in receiving appropriate care and prevent further spread of illness. For example, someone who was diagnosed with a Salmonella infection may receive a call to discuss what foods they ate prior to becoming sick. The answers help us identify possible clusters of illness in the community and prevent others from getting sick. Another example would be someone who is diagnosed with a syphilis infection, who may receive a call to discuss symptoms and partners. This information helps us to ensure the patient has received appropriate treatment and allows us to support services for their partners to prevent further spread of illness.
Doctor’s offices, hospitals, laboratories, and other medical providers are required by law to notify DPH of any positive tests for certain notifiable diseases and conditions, or if they clinically diagnose a patient with a notifiable disease or condition. In addition to reporting a patient’s test results, providers are also legally required to provide DPH with the patient’s demographic and contact information.
You can contact the Epidemiology unit directly at 706-583-2868 and ask for the epidemiologist who called you. You may also contact the Northeast Health District main office at 706-583-2870 to verify the employee. Finally, Epidemiology staff have state email addresses ending in @dph.ga.gov and can send an email from that address to you by request.
DPH employees may ask you to confirm personal identifiers over the phone such as name, date of birth, street address, race, and/or ethnicity. This is done to make sure that private health information is discussed only with the person it belongs to. Epidemiology staff will never ask you to share credit card, banking information, or your Social Security Number.