The Epidemiology Unit maintains surveillance for reportable diseases as well as provides intervention in the contact and follow-up of persons exposed to transmissible infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, bacterial meningitis, and so on.
Among the diseases most frequently investigated are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and syphilis. The unit also contains the District Tuberculosis (TB) Program. In addition to surveillance and contact investigation, the TB program provides care for TB cases, suspects and persons with Latent TB Infection.
In collaboration with other departments, the epidemiology unit investigates suspected food-related illnesses and addresses community concerns about emerging diseases, such as the West Nile Virus. The Ryan White Programs for financially eligible persons with HIV are managed through the Epidemiology Unit. These programs provide case management services, outpatient medical benefits, medications and transportation assistance for clients in the program.
Community education represents another large portion of the Epidemiology Unit’s function. Nurses and Health Educators provide training in matters dealing with communicable diseases to other health care professionals, teachers, the general public, and specific groups such as senior citizens and high-risk groups such as persons in alcohol and other drug programs.