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Disease Surveillance

Disease Surveillance:

Ohio Disease Reporting System

The Ohio Disease Reporting System (ODRS) provides real-time secured access for state and local public health practitioners to report infectious diseases.  ODRS allows local health departments with jurisdictional responsibility and relevant ODH program staff to have immediate access to infectious disease reports on a 24/7/365 basis for disease control and disease surveillance purposes. This assures cases of significant public health importance receive immediate attention and public health response.   Infection preventionists, individual health care providers and laboratories can also become ODRS users for infectious disease reporting purposes.

ODRS is used by local health departments (LHDs) to report infectious diseases to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Class A diseases should also be reported to ODH immediately by phone.


EpiCenter is Ohio’s statewide syndromic surveillance system used by state and local public health agencies to detect, track and characterize health events such as pandemic influenza, overdoses, outbreaks, environmental exposures and potential bioterrorism in real-time. The system gathers de-identified information on patient symptoms and automatically alerts public health when an unusual pattern or trend is occurring.


Ohio is one of 10 centers participating in the Foodborne Diseases Centers for Outbreak Response Enhancement (FoodCORE) project.  FoodCORE centers are funded by CDC to work together to develop new and better methods to detect, investigate, respond to and control multistate outbreaks of foodborne diseases.

Although efforts are primarily focused on outbreaks caused by bacteria including Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Listeria, the ability to detect and investigate viral and parasitic foodborne disease outbreaks is also being enhanced and strengthened.

Through FoodCORE, the Ohio Department of Health’s Outbreak Response and Bioterrorism Investigation Team (ORBIT) provides interview support to 76 local health jurisdictions through cooperative agreements.  ORBIT also works to improve Ohio’s capacity to track, investigate, diagnose and control illnesses.


The National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) is a web-based platform used by local, state, and territorial health departments in the United States to report all waterborne and foodborne disease outbreaks and enteric disease outbreaks transmitted by contact with environmental sources, infected persons or animals, or unknown modes of transmission to CDC. NORS launched in 2009 following a four-year effort to design and develop the electronic system. If you are a member of the general public and would like to report an outbreak, please contact your local or state health department.

NORS is a valuable tool for collecting outbreak data needed to improve public health

Outbreak investigations are most often initiated by state, local, and territorial public health agencies and by CDC. Outbreaks are reported to CDC using NORS, which collects information such as date and location of the outbreak, the number of people who became ill and their symptoms, and the pathogen that caused the outbreak. The data from outbreak investigations are checked for accuracy and analyzed by CDC to provide information about national outbreak trends and learning lessons for preventing future outbreaks.


Epi-X is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web-based communications solution for public health professionals. Through Epi-X, CDC officials, state and local health departments, poison control centers, and other public health professionals can access and share preliminary health surveillance information — quickly and securely. Users can also be actively notified of breaking health events as they occur. Key features of Epi-X include unparalleled scientific and editorial support, controlled user access, digital credentials and authentication, rapid outbreak reporting, and peer-to-peer consultation.


The National Retail Data Monitor (NRDM) monitors anonymous sales of over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare products to identify disease outbreaks. The goal of the NRDM project has been to bring this new type of public health surveillance data to health departments to meet the nation’s need for the early detection of bioterrorism as well as naturally occurring disease outbreaks. The number of retail pharmacy, grocery, and mass merchandise operations that participate in the NRDM has grown to more than 28,000 stores, from fourteen chains. More than 800 public health officials, across 49 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories, have had access to the system via protected user accounts.


Communicable Disease Reporting

Infectious Diseases

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