Publication Date: 
Monday, January 27, 2014

When someone is diagnosed with a communicable disease, such as tuberculosis, HIV or another sexually transmitted disease, a health department may be required or permitted by law to take action to prevent the further spread of the disease. In some cases, this can include reporting the case to a local health department and notifying, testing and treating individuals who may have come into contact with the patient who was initially diagnosed.

This interactive page provides information about the state laws and regulations that dictate how and to what extent a health department may intervene when communicable diseases appear in their jurisdiction. This page identifies whether a health department may act on the suspicion of a communicable disease case, or whether they must have evidence, such as an official diagnosis from a doctor or other health care provider. This page also identifies whether the state or local health department is required to act, and what actions they are permitted to take when intervening.

This project is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 93.283 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI).