Epidemiology Program

Disease Reporting Requirements for Health Care Providers

For more information phone 619-692-8499 or send us an e-mail.

Reporting is crucial for disease surveillance and detection of disease outbreaks. Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 17 (Section 2500), public health professionals, medical providers and others are mandated to report more than 80 diseases or conditions to San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency. In addition, persons in charge of any type of school are also required to report these diseases (Section 2508), as are laboratories (Section 2505).

Who is required to report a communicable disease?

Physicians, surgeons, veterinarians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, nurse midwives, infection control practitioners, medical examiners, coroners, dentists, and administrators of health facilities and clinics knowing of a case or suspected case of a communicable disease are required to report to the local health department (CCR , Title 17, Section 2500). In addition, anyone in charge of a public or private school, kindergarten, boarding school, or preschool also is required to report these diseases (Section 2508). Laboratories are also required to report communicable diseases (Section 2505); refer to the Disease Reporting Requirements for Laboratorians page.

Who else might report a communicable disease?

Pharmacists, animal/vector control staff, emergency medical personnel may report diseases and conditions to the local health department. Private citizens are required to report suspected foodborne illnesses, even if they have not sought medical attention. Please call the Epidemiology Program at (619) 692-8499 or contact the Department of Environmental Health, Food and Housing Division at (858) 505-6814.

How do I report?

To report a communicable disease, you may contact the Epidemiology Program by phone at (619) 692-8499. For urgent matters on evenings, weekends or holidays, dial (858) 565-5255 and ask for the epidemiologist on call. You can also download and print a Confidential Morbidity Report form and fax it to (858) 715-6458. The new CMR form was developed by the California Department of Public Health and local health departments to facilitate and improve disease reporting in California.

Confidential Morbidity Report (CMRa) - Use this form for reporting all conditions except tuberculosis and conditions reportable to DMV.

Confidential Morbidity Report (CMRc) - Use this form for reporting lapses of consciousness or control, Alzheimer's disease or other conditions which may impair the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely (persuant to H&S 103900).

Report immediately by telephone (designated by a in regulations).
Report immediately by telephone when two or more cases or suspected cases of foodborne disease from separate households are suspected to have the same source of illness (designated by a in regulations).
FAX   Report by FAX, telephone, or mail within one working day of identification (designated by a + in regulations).
  All other diseases/conditions should be reported by FAX, telephone, or mail within seven calendar days of identification.

What diseases and conditions are health care professionals required to report?

  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
(HIV infection only: see "Human Immunodeficiency Virus")
FAX   Amebiasis
  Anthrax, human or animal  
FAX   Babesiosis
Botulism (Infant, Foodborne, Wound, Other)
  Brucellosis, animal (except infections due to Brucella canis)
Brucellosis, human
FAX   Campylobacteriosis
FAX   Chickenpox (Varicella) (only hospitalizations and deaths)
  Chlamydia trachomatis Infections, including lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
Ciguatera Fish Poisoning
  Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and other Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE)
 FAX   Cryptosporidiosis
  Cysticercosis or Taeniasis
Domoic Acid Poisoning (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning)
FAX   Encephalitis, Specify Etiology: Viral, Bacterial, Fungal, Parasitic
Escherichia coli: shiga toxin producing (STEC) including E. coli O157
 FAX   Foodborne Disease*
  Gonococcal Infections
FAX   Haemophilus influenzae invasive disease (report an incident less than 15 years of age)
Hantavirus Infections
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
FAX   Hepatitis A, acute infection
  Hepatitis B (specify acute case or chronic)
  Hepatitis C (specify acute case or chronic)
  Hepatitis D (Delta) (specify acute case or chronic)
  Hepatitis E, acute infection
  Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (§2641-2643)
  Influenza, deaths in laboratory-confirmed cases for age 0-64 years
  Influenza, novel strains (human)
  Leprosy (Hansen Disease)
FAX   Listeriosis
  Lyme Disease
FAX   Malaria
Measles (Rubeola)
FAX   Meningitis, Specify Etiology: Viral, Bacterial, Fungal, Parasitic
Meningococcal Infections
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
  Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
FAX   Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Plague, Human or Animal
FAX   Poliovirus Infection
FAX   Psittacosis
FAX   Q Fever
Rabies, Human or Animal
FAX   Relapsing Fever
  Rickettsial Diseases (non-Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever), including Typhus and Typhus-like Illnesses
  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  Rubella (German Measles)
  Rubella Syndrome, Congenital
FAX   Salmonellosis (Other than Typhoid Fever)
Scombroid Fish Poisoning
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Shiga toxin (detected in feces)
FAX   Shigellosis
Smallpox (Variola)
FAX   Staphylococcus aureus Infections (only case resulting in death or admission to an intensive care unit of a person who has not been hospitalized or had surgery, dialysis, or residency in a long-term care facility in the past year, and did not have an indwelling catheter or percutaneous medical device at the time of culture)
FAX   Streptococcal Infections (Outbreaks of Any Type and Individual Cases in Food Handlers and Dairy Workers Only)
FAX   Syphilis
FAX   Trichinosis
FAX   Tuberculosis
  Tularemia, animal
Tularemia, human
FAX   Typhoid Fever, Cases and Carriers
FAX   Vibrio Infections
Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, human or animal (e.g., Crimean-Congo, Ebola, Lassa, and Marburg viruses)
FAX   West Nile Virus (WNV) Infection
Yellow Fever
FAX   Yersiniosis
OUTBREAKS of ANY DISEASE (Including diseases not listed in §2500). Specify if institutional and/or open community.
Disorders Characterized by Lapses of Consciousness (§2800-2812)
Cancer, including benign and borderline brain tumors (except (1) basal and squamous skin cancer unless occurring on genitalia, and (2) carcinoma in-situ and CIN III of the cervix) (§2593)***
Pesticide-related illness or injury (known or suspected cases)**
Necrotizing fasciitis

* Report immediately by telephone when two or more cases or suspected cases of foodborne diseases from separate households are suspected to have the same source of illness.

** Failure to report is a citable offense and subject to civil penalty ($250) (Health and Safety Code §105200).

*** The Confidential Physician Cancer Reporting Form may also be used. See Physician Reporting Requirements for Cancer Reporting in CA at www.ccrcal.org.


HIPAA and Communicable Disease Reporting

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 included legislative deadlines for the creation of federal regulations regarding the privacy of health information. Acting on those deadlines, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services issued the proposed Privacy Rule in 1999. The final Privacy Rule became effective April 14, 2003. The final Privacy Rule does allow communicable diseases reporting as part of permitted disclosures for public health activities (45 CFR 164.512). No consent or authorization is required.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about HIPAA

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The CDC also has a web page (see link below) addressing common questions regarding HIPAA and public health reporting. In addition, the following are some websites and resources related to HIPAA and reporting.

Failure to Report

Failure to report is a misdemeanor (Health and Safety Code §20295) and is a citable offense under the Medical Board of California's Citation and Fine Program (Title 16, CCR, §2800 1364).


For more information phone 619-692-8499 or send us an email.