Infection, or communicable diseases, are a continuing threat to all people, regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, ethnic background or socioeconomic status. They cause illness, suffering and even death, and an enormous financial burden on society. Although modern advances have controlled some infectious diseases, new ones are constantly emerging. State public health officials rely on local public health departments, healthcare providers, laboratories and other public health personnel, to report communicable or infectious diseases. Without such data, trends cannot be accurately monitored, unusual occurrences of diseases (such as outbreaks) might not be detected or appropriately responded to, and the effectiveness of control and prevention activities cannot be evaluated.
In order to protect the health of the public in Des Moines County and surrounding communities, Des Moines County Public Health provides continuous surveillance, investigation, and follow-up services; All done in collaboration with physicians, laboratories, infection control practitioners, school nurses, private citizens, and the Iowa Department of Public Health. All reported communicable diseases and any follow-up services are reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health in a timely manner.