Communicable Disease

Communicable disease investigations are important in preventing spread of disease in our community. Public Health Nurses at the Grand Traverse County Health Department provide the following services:
  • Investigate cases of reportable communicable diseases including hepatitis, meningitis, pertussis, salmonellosis, and tuberculosis
  • Investigate communicable disease outbreaks in our community
  • Provide follow-up to communicable disease cases and contacts including education, testing, prophylaxis and immunization
  • Provide follow-up to victims of animal bites including rabies prevention
  • Provide for collection and transport of specimens for diagnosis, when appropriate
  • Collect communicable disease data and conduct ongoing disease surveillance
  • Receive, review, and monitor weekly school illness reports
  • Provide consultation and education related to communicable diseases to clients, health care providers, and the public
If you have a question about or wish to report a communicable disease, please contact the Communicable Disease Nursing Desk:
  • Phone: 231-995-6125
  • Secure Fax: 231-995-6126
For information regarding MEASLES guidance, testing, and reporting during the 2019 Michigan outbreak, please go to the HEALTHCARE PROVIDER INFORMATION section of the Measles Information Page.
Mom Child Sick

Who Needs to Report?

Physicians, clinical laboratories, primary and secondary schools, childcare centers, and camps are required to report the occurrence or suspected occurrence of any disease, condition or infection as identified in the Health Care Professional's Guide to the Michigan Communicable Disease Rules (PDF). In addition, other health care providers including dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and veterinarians are authorized to report the same to their local health department. Together, they play a key role in state and local efforts to control communicable diseases. The public health system depends upon these reports of diseases to monitor the health of the community and to provide the basis for preventive action.

Why Report?

Health care providers are required to report communicable diseases for several reasons. The most common reasons are listed as follows:
  • To identify outbreaks and epidemics, and if an unusual number of cases occur, local health authorities must investigate to control the spread of the disease
  • To enable preventive treatment and/or education to be provided
  • To help target prevention programs, identify care needs, and use prevention resources efficiently
  • To evaluate the success of long term control efforts
  • To facilitate epidemiologic research to uncover a preventable cause
  • To assist with national and international disease surveillance efforts - for some diseases that are unusual in Michigan, we are part of a national network that the federal government depends on to determine whether national or international investigations are needed.
Accurate and complete disease reporting is essential to the health of the community.

What to Report?

To assist health care providers and other institutions in reporting, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has prepared a list of reportable diseases in Michigan to act as a guide for physicians, health care providers and laboratories.  In addition, Michigan health care professionals and laboratories are also authorized to report any condition, disease, or infection judged by them to indicate that the health of the public is threatened.  

A report must contain the following information:

  • The patient's full name
  • The patient's residential address, including street, city, village or township, county, and zip code
  • The patient's telephone number
  • The patient's date of birth (or age) and sex
  • The name of the disease, infection, or condition reported and date of onset if known
  • The specific laboratory test (if tested), date performed, where performed, and results
  • The name and address of the reporting facility
  • To the extent that the information is readily available, a report of an unusual occurrence, outbreak, or epidemic of a disease, infection, or other condition shall include all of the following information:
  • The nature of the confirmed or suspected disease, infection, or condition
  • The approximate number of cases
  • The approximate illness onset dates
  • The location of the outbreak

How & Where to Report?

The presence or suspected presence of all reportable diseases, infections, and conditions are required to be reported to the appropriate local health department. The "appropriate local health department" means:

The local health department that has jurisdiction where an individual who has a disease or condition that is required to be reported resides or

The local health department of the county in which your service facility is located.

Reported Communicable Diseases

Find out what communicable diseases (PDF) have been reported in Grand Traverse County in the past 3 years.