Surveillance and Data Collection

Surveillance and Data Collection

Monitoring Disease Reports to Verify Diagnosis and Locate Areas where Outbreaks are Especially Intense

In close collaboration with our community partners (clinics, hospitals, health care providers) and the wider community, the staff of the Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Program works  to perform case investigations and contact tracing on reportable communicable disease cases. Program staff are especially interested in monitoring the frequency and pattern of health events through hospitalizations and deaths that occur as the result of outbreaks of infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus, Influenza or Hepatitis.

The surveillance and data collection function of the program is greatly assisted by the Illinois law that mandates reporting by health care providers, clinics and hospitals of any suspected or confirmed case of some 39 diseases.  The reportable diseases are divided into three categories and providers have between three hours and 7 days to make a report to the health department. 

Communicable Disease Reporting

A communicable disease can be reported in Will County by one of the following ways:

  • Ask for the communicable disease investigator by calling (815) 727-8481.
  • Fax to a confidential fax line at, (815) 727-8833.
  • Mail communicable disease report to the following address:
    Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Program
    501 Ella Ave.
    Joliet, IL 60433
Epidemiology News
Please Don't Feed The Animals

Please Don't Feed The Animals

Wild Animals Can Carry Dangerous Diseases

If you live in Will County, you have probably seen deer, coyotes, foxes, and other wildlife frolicking not far from your home. Local population growth has reduced animal living space and forced wildlife to seek shelter in, or very near residential communities.  Lee Schild D.V.M. believes animals and humans can still coexist peacefully, but he knows that humans need to make sure wild animals don't get too close.

SITUATION AWARENESS BRIEFING: Deadly MERS Virus Hits Uncomfortably Close To Home

International Travel Brings Dangerous Diseases to Our Doorstep

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a potentially fatal virus which has now sickened hundreds in 12 countries and carries a fatality rate of more than 30 percent. In 2012, health officials from the Arabian Peninsula reported the first cases of what is now called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a potentially fatal virus which has now sickened hundreds in 12 countries and carries a fatality rate of more than 30 percent.

Influenza Activity in Illinois is Now Confined to Local Outbreaks

Influenza Has Peaked According to the CDC

This article contains updates to the article posted February 20, 2013.

According to the CDC, the influenza outbreak that was so widespread during much of the winter has peaked and activity has decreased in most parts of the U.S. During the latest reporting period (the week ending March 3-9), there were no states reporting high influenza-like activity. According to the latest Overview of Influenza Surveillance in the United States, Illinois has gone from reporting high flu incidence to reporting only localized outbreaks. 

Health Department Recommending Flu Shots for the Unprotected

It's Not Too Late for a Flu Shot!

Most area students are returning to the classroom this week, and the Will County Health Department will be watching. Illinois is one of nearly 40 states currently experiencing widespread influenza activity and the Health Department will be monitoring school attendance to help gauge the severity of the local problem. If current trends continue, the 2012-2013 flu season could be memorable. 

Community-Associated  MRSA Information for the Public

Community-Associated MRSA Information for the Public

Frequently Asked Questions About MRSA

What is Staphylococcus aureus (staph)?

Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25% to 30o/o of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present , but not causing an infection) in the nose with staph bacteria.