Reporting an Outbreak to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Under the Department of Health and Human Services is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a governmental agency that works 24/7 to protect Americans from health, safety and security threats. Contrary to popular belief, if you wish to report an infectious disease in your area, you do not actually need to contact the CDC; instead, you should contact your local or state health department.
It is usually state or local public health officials who initiate outbreak investigations. Those officials then report the collected information to the CDC. While the protocol may vary depending on where the infection occurs, we have provided some information below on where to report infectious diseases in Texas.
Who Must Report an Outbreak in Texas?
The Texas Health & Safety Code (Chapters 81, 84, and 87) requires health care providers, hospitals, laboratories, schools and more to report patients with suspected notifiable conditions to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
How to Report an Outbreak in Texas?
The phone number to immediately report confirmed and suspected cases of disease outbreaks in Texas is 1-800-705-8868. In most cases, notifiable conditions, or other conditions that may be of public health significance should be reported directly to your local or health service region.
If you are unable to report an outbreak through your local or health service region, the Texas DSHS states, “As a last resort or in case of emergency, reports can be made by telephone to the state office at 888-963-7111. After hours this number will reach the physician/epidemiologist-on-call.
What Kind of Outbreaks Must You Report in Texas?
The Texas DSHS maintains a list of notifiable conditions that must be reported. In addition to the list of specified reportable conditions, the Texas DSHS also says, “any outbreak, exotic disease or unusual group expression of disease that may be of public health concern should be reported as quickly as possible.”
Diseases You Must Immediately Report in Texas
There are 18 conditions that health care providers must immediately report to the Texas DSHS:
- Controlled substance overdose
- Coronavirus, novel
- Influenza, novel
- Lead in children or adult blood
- Measles (rubeola)
- Meningococcal infection, invasive
- Plague (Yersinia pestis)
- Poliomyelitis, acute paralytic
- Rabies, human
- Vancomycin-intermediate Staph aureus (VISA)
- Vancomycin-resistant Staph aureus (VRSA)
- Viral hemorrhagic fever (including Ebola)
- Yellow Fever
In addition, there are 15 notifiable conditions that must be reported within one work day to the Texas DSHS:
- Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B, perinatal
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acute infection
- Influenza-associated pediatric morality
- Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter (MDR-A)
- Poliovirus infection, non-paralytic
- Q fever
- Rubella (including congenital)
- Syphilis – primary and secondary stages
- Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex)
- Vibrio infection, including cholera
To access the full list of downloadable notifiable conditions in Texas, click here.
Texas Public Health Regional Offices
There are 11 public health regions and 8 public health regional offices in Texas. The phone number of each public health regional office can be found below:
- Public Health Region 1 (Lubbock): 806-744-3577
- Public Health Region 2/3 (Arlington): 817-264-4500
- Public Health Region 4/5 (Tyler): 903-595-3585
- Public Health Region 6/5 (Houston): 713-767-3000
- Public Health Region 7 (Temple): 254-778-6744
- Public Health Region 8 (San Antonio): 210-949-2000
- Public Health Region 9/10 (El Paso): 915-834-7675
- Public Health Region 11 (Harlingen): 956-423-0130
If you live in an unincorporated area of Texas, you can find which public health region your county falls under here.
Injured Due to Contaminated Products
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries after being negligently exposed to a dangerous disease, consult an experienced products liability attorney today. Injuries associated with product liability can be difficult and complex to prove, which is why we believe no one should handle these claims alone.
Contact Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., today for a free case evaluation with one of our products liability attorneys. If we cannot represent you, we will help you find someone who will. Call us today at 800-298-0111 or chat with us below.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.