Disease Outbreaks

Public Health Involvement in Disease Outbreak Situations

It is the responsibility of all medical providers to report communicable diseases to the county health department where the infected individual lives. This Kansas law requires hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians offices, and even child day-care facilities to report diseases specified in Kansas law that occur within their institution to the local health department. That means reporting any human that can be spread disease to other persons, as well as specific diseases that might be spread to humans by animals.

It is then the local health department’s responsibility to:
  • Assure all infected persons have accessed care when indicated and are quarantined or isolated from the public to prevent further spread of disease
  • Identify other humans that may have been exposed to communicable disease so those individuals can receive any preventive treatment available
  • Know what symptoms might occur
  • Find out when it is advisable to see or consult their doctor
  • Learn what measures could be taken to minimize or negate the risk of disease transmission within a household or institution

Kansas Law

Kansas law requires local health departments to notify the Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment of all reportable diseases to allow for appropriate statewide or national response should a disease outbreak warrant such a measure in order to protect individuals across the state or nation.