For Healthcare Providers

Health Alerts

Health Alert: provides vital, time-sensitive information for a specific incident or situation; warrants immediate action or attention by health officials, laboratorians, clinicians, and members of the public; and conveys the highest level of importance.

Reporting a Communicable/Infectious Disease

Please click the button below to report any of the reportable communicable/infectious diseases to CCCHD. Any additional lab work or paperwork can be faxed to our secure fax line at 937-390-5626.

If you would rather complete the “old” Ohio Confidential Reportable Disease form, please click here.

Topics of Concern in Clark County

Clark County has been in a syphilis outbreak since September 2020. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Syphilis can have very mild symptoms to the point that the patient may not realize they were ever infected. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are experiencing extreme effects of syphilis and they account for 43 percent of all primary and secondary syphilis cases in the 2020 STD Surveillance Report. However, case rates are increasing among heterosexual men and women in recent years. Congenital Syphilis continues to be a concern in Clark County and the State of Ohio. Congenital syphilis occurs when a pregnant person passes syphilis to their baby. All pregnant people should receive testing for syphilis at the first prenatal visit. Some people will need testing again during the third trimester (28 weeks gestation) and at delivery. Untreated syphilis in a pregnant person can infect their developing baby and can cause fetal blindness, birth defects, and even fetal death.

Syphilis can cause serious health effects without adequate treatment. Any person with signs or symptoms suggestive of syphilis should receive a test for syphilis. Also, anyone with an oral, anal, or vaginal sex partner who receives a recent syphilis diagnosis should receive testing. Some people should receive testing for syphilis even if they do not have symptoms or know of a sex partner who has syphilis. As a healthcare provider, you should speak with anyone who is sexually active and should discuss their risk factors and importance of testing.

In addition, healthcare providers should routinely test for syphilis in people who:

  • are pregnant;
  • are sexually active MSM;
  • are living with HIV and are sexually active; and
  • are taking PrEP for HIV prevention.

Please use the links below for access to additional resources:

Syphilis pocket guide link: https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/Syphilis-Pocket-Guide-FINAL-508.pdf

2021 STI treatment guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/default.htm

Since May 2022, CDC has been urging healthcare providers in the United States to be on alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox. Distinguishing features of the rash include papules, vesicles, pustules, or scabs that are deep-seated, firm or rubbery, and have well-defined round borders. Vesicular or pustular stages of the lesions are often umbilicated (i.e., have a dent in the middle of them). They may be painful, painless, or itchy. People with monkeypox may develop symptoms including fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion or swollen lymph nodes during the prodromal period preceding the rash or with the rash. As of 8/1/2022, Clark County has no cases of Monkeypox.

Epidemiologic Criteria/Risk Factors:

Within 21 days of illness onset:

  • Reports having contact with a person or people with a similar appearing rash or who received a diagnosis of confirmed or probable monkeypox OR
  • Had close or intimate in-person contact with individuals in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men (MSM) who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., a bar or party) OR
  • Traveled outside the US to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where Monkeypox virus is endemic OR
  • Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that is an African endemic species or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)

If the individual does not meet the epidemiological criteria but the Healthcare Provider thinks there is a high clinical suspicion for Monkeypox, testing can still be performed.

Monkeypox can be found in any individual regardless of sexual orientation.

If there are no identified epidemiologic risk criteria for monkeypox infection, other possible causes of rash in adults should be considered, including secondary syphilis, herpes, and varicella zoster. In children without identified epidemiologic risk criteria for monkeypox, varicella zoster and molluscum contagiosum (MC) should be considered in the differential diagnosis. MC is an infection caused by a poxvirus (molluscum contagiosum virus) that is diagnosed more often in children than in adults. MC infection is usually a benign, mild skin disease characterized by lesions that may appear anywhere on the body.

For testing guidance, please see the Health Alert: Monkeypox Virus (MPX): Testing Guidance.

West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitos throughout Clark County. Awareness of WNV present in the community triggers an urgent need for the public health system throughout the county to work together in surveillance and early detection of any human cases of the virus among Clark County residents. Additionally, it is vital for all partners to stress the importance of taking precautions to prevent Mosquito-borne Diseases.

West Nile Virus (WNV), an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. 

Symptoms:  Most people who become infected with WNV do not have any symptoms. About one in five people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. WNV can lead to severe fever, encephalitis or meningitis.

Clinical Criteria: A clinically compatible case of arboviral disease is defined as follows:

  • Neuroinvasive disease:
    • Meningitis, encephalitis, acute flaccid paralysis or other acute signs of central or peripheral neurologic dysfunction, as documented by a physician, and
    • Absence of a more likely clinical explanation. Other clinically compatible symptoms of arbovirus disease include: headache, myalgia, rash, arthralgia, vertigo, vomiting, paresis and/or nuchal rigidity.
  • Non-neuroinvasive disease:
    • Fever (chills) as reported by the patient or a healthcare provider, and
    • Absence of neuroinvasive disease, and
    • Absence of a more likely clinical explanation. Other clinically compatible symptoms of arbovirus disease include: headache, myalgia, rash, arthralgia, vertigo, vomiting, paresis and/or nuchal rigidity.

Period of Communicability:  Humans are dead-end hosts for the virus (i.e., they do not circulate sufficient numbers of the virus in the blood stream to infect a mosquito). The disease cannot be spread from person to person.

For more guidance, please see the Health Alert: Mosquitos Test Positive for West Nile Virus.

Immunizations

Immunizations are given according to the schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Ohio Department of Health. For the most up to date immunization schedule, please visit the CDC’s Webpage.

Childhood Lead Poisoning Information

Ohio law requires all healthcare providers to administer blood lead tests to children at age 1 and 2, or up to age 6 if no previous test has been completed based on the following criteria: the child is on Medicaid, lives in a high-risk ZIP code, or has certain other risk factors.

For more about the recommendations for screening and medical management of children please visit the Ohio Department of Health Webpage on Childhood Lead Poisoning.

Infectious Disease Control Manual (IDCM)

The IDCM is designed to be a reference for local health departments, hospitals, laboratories and physicians in providing information about infectious diseases from a public health perspective, including prevention, control and reporting of suspected and diagnosed cases. This manual is updated at least annually to reflect changes in public health practices and disease prevention and control activities.
To visit the IDCM please click on the book icon to the left.