Diseases Diseases

What Is a Reportable Disease?


A reportable disease is a type of disease that needs to be reported to the proper authority, which includes  county and state health departments or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reason it needs to be reported is that a reportable disease is one characterised  by being a great public health importance. The act of reporting a reportable disease is for the collection of statistics that show how often the disease occurs, thus potentially helping with control of future outbreaks. In this article we will list some of the present reportable diseases, symptoms and treat,ent/outlook, so you can get a sense on what makes a reportable disease


First off its important to note that all states have a reportable disease list. These lists are sectioned off into different categories. Mandatory written reporting, this is where the reportable disease must be reported in hand writing. Mandatory reporting by telephone, the doctor or health care professional must make a call to an appropriate authority to report the disease. The last two categories are Report of total number of cases and Cancer, reported to the state Cancer Registry. 

The first reportable disease we will discuss is Anthrax, an highly infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. The primary cause of this disease in humans, is for a human to become in contact with an infected hoofed animal ( sheep, goat or cow). This can happen either via the inhalation of  anthrax spores ( happens during tanning hides and processing wool), Cutaneous anthrax where the humans become infected thorough exposure to the disease via a cut or injury and the last cause of infection is eating tainted meat ( Gastrointestinal anthrax). The symptoms of Anthrax will depend on what type of anthrax you have become infected with. Cutaneous anthrax sufferers will experience An itchy sore on their skin, this sore is usually painless and resembles a bug bite. Inhalation anthrax,  fever, malaise, headache, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Gastrointestinal anthrax, Abdominal pain, Bloody diarrhea, Diarrhea, Fever, Mouth sores, Nausea and vomiting. 

The majority of individuals who contract this reportable disease are treated via antibiotics,  penicillin, doxycycline, and ciprofloxacin. 


The next reportable disease we will mention is Shigellosis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the intestines. This disease can spread from an infected person to contaminate water or food, or directly to another person, thus it is usually connected to poor sanitation, contaminated food and water. The unpleasant symptoms of this disease are Acute (sudden) abdominal pain or cramping, a sudden fever, Blood, mucus, or pus in stool,  rectal pain (tenesmus), Nausea and vomiting and Watery diarrhea. The treatment method for this disease is to keep the patient well hydrated and to replace the lost electrolytes. This is done either by the patient drinking a lot of fluids, or if they are unable to drink via  a vein ( intravenously).

The bacterial caused disease of Tetanus is an infection of the nervous system. This is caused by  Clostridium tetani. An individual will become infected via spores entering the body through an injury or wound. This spores will subsequently releases bacteria that spread thorough your body making a poison called tetanospasmin. This formed poison will block nerve signals from the spinal cord to the muscles. The symptoms of this disease are spasms of the muscles ( these start of a mild but will develop to become quite severe), Drooling, Excessive sweating, Fever, Hand or foot spasms, Irritability, Swallowing difficulty
and Uncontrolled urination or defecation. The traetment avenues that can be taken are Antibiotics ( penicillin, clindamycin, erythromycin, or metronidazole), plenty of bed rest in a relaxing and dim venue, Medicine to reverse the poison, Muscle relaxers such as diazepam, Sedatives and Surgery to clean the wound and remove the source of the poison. 

Tips and comments

If you have any reportable diseases make sure to visit a health care provider without delay. As the majority of the reportable diseases are highly infectious and subversive to human life. 

By Athena Rhodes, published at 03/23/2012
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