Communicable disease control

The Putnam County Health Department receives reports from health care providers and laboratories in order to identify and control the spread of infectious diseases. Health care providers in the state of Ohio are legally obligated to report a predetermined list of infectious diseases to the local health department for our follow up and containment measures.

Reportable diseases

As stated in Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3, there are numerous communicable diseases that must be reported to the health department. See the ABC’s of Reportable Diseases for the list of reportable conditions in Ohio. To report a communicable disease, contact Dunel Fry RN, BSN at 419-523-5608, ext. 110. To report a Class A reportable disease after regular business hours call 419-523-3208 (Putnam County Sheriff’s Office).  The appropriate PCHD staff member will be notified. Communicable disease control identifies disease outbreaks and potential threats, limits spread, and assists residents in obtaining the necessary treatment. As needed, the Putnam County Health Department uses the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory for testing in relation to certain communicable diseases. The ODH Lab is available 24-hours a day and can be called upon during outbreaks and certain emergency situation to assist.

Disease prevention

Many people are concerned about the risk of exposure to different germs and illnesses. Diseases are spread in many ways including:

  • Person-to-person through direct contact
  • Touching infectious material and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • From a healthy person who is not sick but carries a germ and spreads to others
  • From insects such as mosquitoes or ticks that carry viruses such as West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease
  • From contaminated water or food resulting in a food-borne illness or “food poisoning”
  • From pets or other animals that may have a virus, such as rabies, that is spread to humans

The number one way to prevent the spread of germs is practicing good hand washing. It is very simple yet very effective. It is best to wash hands with soap and clean water for 20 seconds (as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), rubbing hands together to make a lather. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used to clean the hands, rubbing the product over all surfaces of the hands and fingers until hands are dry.

Covering your Cough is also an effective way to limit the spread of germs. Instead of coughing or sneezing into your hands, cover your mouth with the crook of your elbow by reaching your hand to the opposite shoulder and coughing in your sleeve. This prevents your contaminated hands from touching others or inanimate objects.

To report a communicable disease, contact Dunel Fry RN, BSN at 419-523-5608, ext. 110. After regular business hours call 419-523-3208 (Putnam County Sheriff’s Office).