Epidemiology plays a vital role in monitoring, preventing, investigating and controlling infectious and communicable diseases in Fayette County. An infectious disease can be transmitted from person to person, or animal to human, by direct contact with body fluids, ingesting contaminated food or water, inhalation of contaminated air or the bite of an infected insect.
Examples of infectious and communicable diseases are:
- West Nile Virus
- Legionnaires’ disease
- bacterial meningitis
- salmonellosis (salmonella)
- E. coli.
In Kentucky, health care providers and laboratories are required by law to report infectious and communicable diseases to the local health department serving the jurisdiction in which the patient resides. Each reported disease requires an investigation by the Epidemiology unit to determine a source of infection, whether additional individuals need to be contacted, and to provide education to the patient regarding their illness.
Data Surveillance and Tracking
Public Health Surveillance is the collection, investigation and distribution of data about illness and death. This surveillance helps prevent and control disease in Fayette County. Surveillance is used to protect and improve the health of the public by:
- describing disease trends
- identifying and controlling the sources of infection
- educating the public
- preventing disease
The health department can provide educational FAQ sheets on a variety of conditions that can be provided to staff, students, or employees. For information on the transmission, prevention, and treatment of communicable diseases, please call (859) 231-9791 or email at LFCHD.Epi@ky.gov
Epidemiology endorses proper hand washing as the most effective way to stop the spread of germs. To learn more information about hand washing and proper hand washing procedure please click on the links below.
- Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
- Handwashing: A Family Activity
- Handwashing: The Most Important Food Poisoning Prevention
- Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs
- Put Your Hands Together
Physicians, hospitals, and laboratories report communicable diseases as required by 902 KAR 2:020 to the epidemiology unit of the health department. Qualified health department staff persons provide investigation of the cases and report the communicable diseases to the state office which reports to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Staff can be reached for reporting or for consultation using the information below.
The links below provide documents that outline the reporting process, what to report, and how to report it. In addition to the diseases listed, an outbreak of any nature is required to be reported including foodborne illnesses.