Salt Lake Valley Health Department
Infectious Disease Bureau
Infectious Disease Bureau
610 South 200 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
The Infectious Disease Bureau (ID) is responsible for investigating communicable diseases in our community.
ID investigates where and how individuals have been infected with communicable (easily spread from person to person) disease, and ensure that they are no longer capable of spreading it within our community.
The Infectious Disease Bureau is also ready and able to ensure that appropriate medical measures are being taken on an individual and community level to prevent further illness.
Infectious disease: Any disease caused by the entrance, growth, and multiplication of microorganisms in the body; a germ disease.
Communicable: Transmittable between persons or species; contagious
Reportable: Required by law to be reported to the authorities
Intervention: In medicine, an intervention is undertaken to help treat, manage or cure a condition.
A wide variety of diseases fall into the “reportable” category. By law doctors, labs and clinics are required to report these diseases to local and state health authorities, because of their communicable properties. Some of the more familiar diseases include food borne illnesses like salmonella and hepatitis A, respiratory disease such as pertussis and tuberculosis, and blood borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis B.
You don't have to be a medical professional to report a disease you may be aware of. Sometimes a concerned citizen is the individual that gets an investigation started.
Individual disease investigations are generally done over the telephone and can be completed in 15-30 minutes. Information gathered adheres to established guidelines from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) and principles of epidemiology. Information is not shared with other agencies unless epidemiologically indicated. ID does not request social security numbers. All investigative information gathered to track a disease is a medical record and treated as such.
Some diseases, such as Tuberculosis, are more complex and a more in-depth investigation is necessary. In this case, a worksite investigation may be required or identifying close social contacts. All efforts are made to maintain confidentiality while protecting the public’s health.
Some of the questions you might be asked:
- When did your symptoms start?
- What symptoms did you experience?
- Have you traveled recently?
- Did you receive treatment?
- Is there anyone else you know with similar symptoms?
- Note: You may be asked for a detailed food history.
Depending on the findings of the investigation, intervention may be as simple as education. In some cases, a large scale intervention may be necessary, such as medication distribution or immunization clinics.
Intervention plans are designed to promote safety for the community and are often a result of discussions among leading medical experts locally, statewide and nationally.
Informational handouts on a variety of conditions and the prevention of disease transmission are available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Please be cautious when searching for medical information on the internet and be sure the site is reputable.
Isolation and Quarantine
On rare occasions, an individual may be excluded from work or school to ensure they remain home while infectious (known as isolation). Isolation is encouraged so a possible spread of disease can be stopped while a person is infectious or potentially infectious.
Quarantine is implemented as a prevention measure when reasonable suspicion exists that a disease may be present. Every effort is made to lessen the intrusive impact on you personally and the community as a whole.
Our physician and nurses have worked in various situations on several occasions and are here as a resource and can provide valuable expertise when it comes to infectious diseases and controlling them in our community.
Hand washing is the key to stopping the spread of disease.
Wash for 15 seconds with soap under warm water.