is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in a population. Public health epidemiologists monitor the health and illness of a population, investigate the factors that affect the community's health, and recommend interventions to reduce the risk of disease. Epidemiology is practiced in health departments daily and involves principles of surveillance, investigation, laboratory testing, data management and communication.
The countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria are experiencing an outbreak of Ebola. A total of 1,779 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease and 961 deaths among these countries was reported as of August 6, 2014. For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC Ebola webpage.
What is Ebola?
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of several Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It a rare and deadly disease caused by one of the Ebola virus strains. People who become infected typically develop fever, headache, weakness, joint and muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Some people may also begin to hemorrhage (bleed) inside and outside of the body. It is spread by direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with an infected person’s blood or body fluids, such as urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen. It is also spread through contact with objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions. For more information, see the CDC Ebola fact sheet.
Risk in the U.S.
Transmission of the virus requires direct contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids or contact with objects contaminated with infected secretions. Therefore, there is no significant risk for widespread transmission in the U.S.
Healthcare providers in the U.S.
CDC encourages all U.S. healthcare providers to
Travelers returning from countries affected by the outbreak should monitor their health for 21 days after their return. Seek medical care if you develop symptoms and tell the medical office or emergency department about your recent travel before you go. For more information for travelers, visit the CDC’s Travel Health website.
Communicable Disease Fax Line
Emergency After-Hours Call Number
Louise Lockett, MPH
Angelia Brennan, RN
Communicable Disease Nurse
Catherine Bailey, RN
STI Intervention Specialist
STI Intervention Specialist
Office of Epidemiology
Home page for VDH’s Office of Epidemiology. It will connect you with the Divisions of Surveillance and Investigation, Disease Prevention, Environmental Epidemiology, Immunization and Radiological Health.
Disease Regulation Information
Contains the complete regulations for disease reporting and control for Virginia. You will also find the reportable disease list, conditions reportable by laboratories, outbreak reporting requirements and the reporting form (Epi-1).
Disease Fact Sheets
Contains all of VDH's disease fact sheets. From head lice to whooping cough to West Nile Virus, this is the first stop for quick, reliable disease information. Fact sheets are also available here in Spanish.
Communicable Disease Chart for Schools
Direct link to the PDF. Make sure to review the footnotes at the bottom of this document. Last revised November 1st, 2011. More information can be found in the VDOE School Health Guidelines (located at the bottom of the page).
Nursing Facility Regulations
Contains a line list of guidelines from VDH’s Office of Licensure and Certification. The Rules and Regulations for the Licensure of Nursing Facilities in Virginia can be found here.
VDSS Assisted Living Facility Regulations
Contains information on regulations, Code of Virginia, application process, guidelines, forms, training and more.
Successful Strategies for Infection Prevention & ControlThis toolkit contains infection prevention presentations, resources, and tools that have been adapted for the assisted living facility (ALF) and nursing home (NH) setting whenever possible. Much of the tools like infection prevention guidance, fact sheets and surveillance logs, however, are generally applicable to other settings.
EPA Registered Disinfectants
Contains listings of EPA registered antimicrobial products that are effective against HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Norovirus, MRSA and more.
FDA Bad Bug Book
Provides basic facts regarding foodborne pathogens and natural toxins
CDC Health Alert Network
Provides recent and archived health alerts, advisories, updates and informational messages regarding vital health information.