Office of Epidemiology

The epidemiology office is responsible for the management and follow-up of reportable communicable diseases in Lucas County. The epidemiologists work to provide surveillance on disease cases and symptoms, further investigate selected diseases cases, and assist in outbreak response. The office is driven to provide disease education and reduce the incidence of communicable disease in the community.  HIV and Syphilis cases are followed up on by Disease Intervention Specialists (see HIV Testing for more information) and Tuberculosis cases in Lucas County are followed up by a designated Public Health Nurse.

Disease Reporting

According to the Ohio Administrative Code, communicable disease cases (suspected or confirmed) are to be reported to the local health department. The Infectious Disease Control Manual is provided by the Ohio Department of Health to outline the requirements for reporting Ohio’s communicable diseases and provides a list of the current reportable diseases.

How to Report Communicable Diseases

All Class A diseases are to be reported immediately by telephone: 419.213.4161 or 419.213.4264
On evenings, weekends or holidays call Engage Toledo at 419.936.2020

All Class B diseases are to be reported by the end of the next business day by secure fax: 419.213.4546
You may use the Ohio Confidential Reportable Disease Form

All Class C diseases (outbreaks, an unusual incident, or epidemic of other diseases) are to be reported by the end of the next business day by telephone.

Reporting of:
Tuberculosis: 419.213.2659
HIV/AIDS and Syphilis: 419.213.4176 or 419.213.4159

Since March 2017, CDCs Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) has been assisting several state and local health departments with hepatitis A outbreaks, spread through person to person contact, that have occurred primarily among persons who are homeless, persons who use injection and non-injection drugs, and their close direct contacts. Information on local hepatitis A case counts and outbreak response is available on web pages for the locations affected by the outbreak (Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, TennesseeUtah and West Virginia).

Currently, Lucas County has 7 cases associated with the outbreak in Michigan. 

Hepatitis A Overview:
Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A. You can get hepatitis A by eating contaminated food or water, during sex, or just by living with an infected person. Illness can appear 15-50 days after exposure and you can be sick for several weeks. In some cases, people can die. Although not all people infected with hepatitis A experience illness, symptoms can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • belly pain
  • feeling tired
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • dark urine
  • pale-colored feces (poop)
  • joint pain

There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of Hepatitis A transmission. Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable illness. While the hepatitis A vaccine is recommended as a part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule, most adults have not been vaccinated and may be susceptible to the hepatitis A virus. The best way to reduce the risk of getting hepatitis A is to get vaccinated with two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine. It is also recommended to wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before preparing meals for yourself and others. Use your own towels, toothbrushes, and eating utensils. Do not have sex with someone who has HAV infection or share food, drinks, or smokes with other people.

What can the public do to protect themselves and their communities?

  • Wash hands after using the restroom and before eating or preparing meals for yourself or others
  • Use your own towels, toothbrushes, and eating utensils
  • Do not have sex with someone who has HAV infection
  • Do not share food, drinks, drugs, or smokes with other people
  • If you think you may have hepatitis A, see your medical provider
  • If you have hepatitis A, please cooperate with your local public health to help protect others
  • If recommended, get vaccinated against hepatitis A

For more information, visit CDC’s website for 2017 Hepatitis A Outbreaks.  For additional questions, please call 419-213-4264 or 419-213-4161.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. Norovirus infection causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). This leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Norovirus illness is often called by other names, such as food poisoning and stomach flu. Noroviruses can cause food poisoning, as can other germs and chemicals. Norovirus illness is not related to the flu (influenza). Though they share some of the same symptoms, the flu is a respiratory illness caused by influenza virus.

Changes for Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals and Long-Term Care regarding Legionella

In June of 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent out a memorandum about the new Requirements to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facility Water Systems to Prevent Cases and Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease (LD). Below are some helpful resources for facilities that may be impacted by these new changes.