Disease Control &
The Epidemiology program is primarily charged with the
reporting and control of communicable diseases and conditions that may
significantly affect public health as specified in Florida Administrative Code
Chapter 64D-3. Our staff is directly responsible for investigating over 80
reportable conditions with the exception of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and sexually
transmitted infections (STI).
Our staff also authors Epi Express a bi-annual newsletter:
Reportable Disease Incidence Report
Disease outbreaks in the community
The Epidemiology program investigates reports of
disease/conditions of public health significance in the community. An outbreak
occurs when two or more unrelated individuals present with similar symptoms or
the same disease diagnosis and can be linked through a shared location or time
(e.g. ate at the same restaurant within a few days of each other or attended the
same conference). Following a report, the Epidemiology staff conducts phone or
face-to-face interviews of sick individuals to determine how and when they
became ill and to determine if others have been exposed. When the investigation
may involve a local facility (restaurant, school, or childcare) an inspection of
the establishment may be warranted and is carried out by representatives of the
Epidemiology program and the Environmental Health.
Epidemiology program implements local policies for disease prevention and
develops intervention strategies for disease containment. For example, Escambia
County Health Department has the authority to exclude a sensitive worker (ie.
food-handler, childcare worker or medical professional) from work if they are
infected with a communicable disease and do not comply with state requirements.
The Epidemiology program also partners with our community providers (childcares,
schools, nursing homes and other institutional settings) to keep our citizens
safe and in good health. If you need to report an outbreak of influenza–like
illness (fever, cough and/or sore throat), gastrointestinal illness (nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea), rash illness or other syndrome in your facility, please use
the following line list(s) and fax it to 850-595-6268. This will give
epidemiologists the information needed to assist you in the outbreak.
K-12 and Childcare centers:
School Line List
For Long-term care centers or work places:
Facility Line list
Animal bites or injuries require immediate attention and possibly
a visit to a primary physician or Emergency Room because domesticated and feral
animals can transmit a large number of diseases to humans. Special attention and
urgency should be given to injuries involving small children (up to 2 yrs old)
or injuries located above the neck and shoulders (i.e. face bites).
In the state of Florida, bites involving animals should be
reported to a local county health department. If the bite circumstance requires
that the victim receive rabies post exposure prophylactic (PEP) treatment (4
shot series), the individual can receive these shots in any one of the 3
hospital emergency rooms (Sacred Heart, Baptist, West Florida) in Pensacola. The
Escambia County Health Department no longer provides rabies vaccine. However,
the Epidemiology staff report cases that receive PEP in the hospital to the
Florida Department of Health. We are available to consult with the local
emergency rooms and physicians regarding the appropriate management of exposure
victims; and to assist them in assuring that their patients complete their
If you need to report an animal bite, contact the Escambia County
division at 850-595-6700. If the bite is from a cat, dog, or ferret, the Environmental Health
program staff at the Escambia County Health Department is responsible for
attempting to locate/identify the offending animal and make decisions regarding
the disposition of the animal in coordination with local animal control. The
bite report is then forwarded to the Epidemiology program for evaluation.
Epidemiologists will follow up with the local ERs to ascertain if rabies
treatment was given to the patient.
Emergency Planning and Response
The Escambia County Health Department is actively
planning for an effective and efficient response to health emergencies occurring
in our community. The Epidemiology staff is trained to respond to man-made
emergencies (i.e. Bioterrorism) and naturally occurring health threats (i.e.
Pandemic Influenza and Hurricane Response). They are responsible for monitoring
and evaluating our community’s health status and needs during these events to
assist in decision making regarding appropriate actions and interventions; as
well as making recommendations for prevention and control/containment.
Education and community outreach
The Epidemiology program is available to our community
partners and health care professionals for guidance regarding disease reporting
regulations and health education. If you are interested in receiving education
about disease reporting and/or disease prevention and control please call for
850-595-6683 for more information.
The Florida Department of Health Identifies Facilities That
Have Received Contaminated Pain Medication
Department of Health (DOH) is working closely with the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state
partners and other states on the meningitis outbreak
associated with spinal injections and joint injections of
methylprednisolone for pain. More details can be found in
media releases issued from the
Florida Department of Health Office of Communications.
County Health Department and Pain Consultants of West
Florida are coordinating efforts to contact persons who have
been potentially exposed to the contaminated medications.
Additional media releases regarding this matter are found on
risk of infection should call their physician to ensure that
their physician is aware of their risk. More information can
be obtained from the Escambia County Health Department at
850/595-6651 or from your local health department. The
Florida Department of Health also has set up a toll-free
hotline at 866/523-7339.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fungal Meningitis
10.22.2012 ECHD Media Release Update on Meningitis
Joint statement from Department of Health and Department of
Business and Professional Regulation
DOH State Surgeon Generals Statement 10.18.2012
mosquito-borne illness alert has been lifted for Escambia
ECHD Media Release Update on West Nile Virus – 1.14.2013
Additional media releases regarding this matter are found on
The development of human cases of WNV confirms an increased
risk to everyone in our county. Since most people who
contract WNV from a mosquito bite have mild or no symptoms,
it is likely that there are numerous unreported cases
throughout the area. It is important that all residents take
precautions to limit exposure to mosquitoes. Additional
media releases regarding this matter are found on our
West Nile Virus Update - 2012
Location & Contact
1300 W. Gregory Street
Pensacola, FL 32501
Phone number: 850-595-6683
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