BCHHS Public Health Provider Reminder: Reporting suspected or confirmed communicable diseases to BCHHS

January 4, 2021

Attachments: Release-of-patient-info-to-public-health-memo-from-NC-DHHS_Sept-2018.pdf

As a reminder, physicians in NC are required by state law (NC General Statute § 130A-135) to report suspected or confirmed communicable diseases to the local health department. The Communicable Disease report form for Buncombe County is located at https://www.buncombecounty.org/common/health/Morb_Card.pdf. Please review the list of reportable diseases and conditions on page 2 of the form, as well as the time frame for reporting them to public health.

BCHHS Communicable Disease Control staff are available 24/7, including on holidays and weekends, by calling 828-250-5109 or faxing 828-250-6169.

·         If you ever try to contact these numbers and are unable to leave a message or your fax fails to go through, please contact me at 828-989-6145 or Ellis Vaughan, our Director of Nursing, at 828-545-6740.

 

I do need to point out that some changes were made to the list of reportable diseases/conditions this year, beyond adding the novel coronavirus we’ve been so focused on for most of 2019. These changes became effective July 1, 2020.

·         Added 4 reportable conditions:

  •  
    • Acute Flaccid Myelitis
    • Babesiosis
      • A tickborne parasitic infection; cases identified in NC may be travel-associated, as cases tend to be in New England and upper Mid-West US (WI & MN); may be transmitted by blood transfusion
    • Varicella (chickenpox)
      • All suspected or confirmed cases are reportable within 24 hours
    • Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRA)
      • All test results (negative, positive, & indeterminate) are reportable from laboratories that report electronically
  • Re-listing Zika, which had been inadvertently removed previously
  • Making measles immediately reportable instead of within 24 hours
  • Updating several disease names and adding some diagnostic laboratory tests results

 

Please make sure that your medical records and triage staff are aware that HIPAA allows for the release of protected health information to local public health as part of a communicable disease investigation. See the attached memo from NCDHHS for more details.

Thanks for working with us to identify, contain and manage communicable diseases in our community. Please let me know if you have any questions about the information in this email.

With much appreciation and with great hope for a peaceful, safe and healthy 2021.

 

Jennifer Mullendore, MD, MSPH

(she/her/hers)

Health & Human Services,

Medical Director

p. (828) 250-6308  c. 828-989-6145

40 Coxe Ave. - Asheville, NC 28801

 

Respect. Honesty. Integrity. Collaboration. Equity.