Communicable Disease & Epidemiology

Resources for Health Care Providers

Department of Community Health Updates

Reporting Rules

The Michigan Department of Community Health has updated its Communicable Disease Reporting Rules. This Emergency Rule was adopted in December 2004 for the purpose of adding the following to the list of notifiable diseases:

  • Arboviral disease (i.e. West Nile, St. Louis Encephalitis)
  • Avian influenza
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
  • Monkeypox
  • Smallpox
  • SARS
  • Staphylococcus aureus (vancomycin - intermediate or resistant)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (invasive or resistant)

Please be aware that these diseases are required by law to be reported to the local health department by physicians. If you suspect any of these conditions in a patient, please contact the Kent County communicable disease unit at (616) 632-7228 or by fax at (616) 632-7085.

The reporting form may be faxed to the Kent County Health Department at (616) 632-7085 or you may call in the report to (616) 632-7228.

Why Report? ¹

  1. To identify outbreaks and epidemics.
  2. To enable preventive treatment and/or education to be provided.
  3. To help target prevention programs, identify care needs, and use scarce prevention resources efficiently.
  4. To evaluate the success of long term control efforts.
  5. To facilitate epidemiologic research to uncover a preventable cause.
  6. To assist with national and international disease surveillance efforts.

Laboratory Testing

The Michigan Department of Community Health Bureau of Laboratories (MDCH BOL) accepts clinical specimens sent from health care providers for testing of many communicable diseases that affect public health. The Kent County Health Department Laboratory is part of the MDCH BOL network and provides limited testing of common pathogens, such as enteric bacteria. Specimen collection kits and requisitions can be ordered from MDCH. For information on ordering supplies, pathogen specific testing, specimen requirements, shipping instructions and the most up-to-date requisitions visit the MDCH BOL website.

¹ Michigan Department of Community Health