Updates to the Regulations for Disease Reporting

October 20, 2016

Dear Colleague:

The State Board of Health has updated the Virginia Regulations for Disease Reporting and Control, and these updates go into effect on October 20, 2016.  We rely on you to identify and report conditions of public health concern and encourage you to consider the impact your patients’ health may have on the larger community.  In that way, you and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) partner to control the spread of disease in Virginia.  VDH is available to assist you in the management of conditions of public health concern and to investigate and control disease in the community.

To familiarize you with the changes, we have highlighted some important updates and have enclosed a table summarizing the reporting requirements.

The updated regulations and updated versions of the Virginia Reportable Disease List can be referenced on the VDH website.

The following changes are relevant to those in clinical practice:

  • “Lead, elevated blood levels” was renamed “Lead, reportable levels”, and the reportable level changed to any detectable blood lead level in children ages 0-15 or levels ≥ 5µg/dL in persons older than 15 years of age.
  • Babesiosis and Leptospirosis were added to the reportable disease list.
  • Monkeypox and invasive Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant infections (MRSA) were removed from the reportable disease list.
  • “Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)” was renamed “Coronavirus infection, severe” on the reportable disease list to include the reporting of SARS, MERS-CoV, and other severe coronavirus infections.
  • The requirement to report certain diseases by rapid communication was clarified to state that reporting should be immediate by the most rapid means available, preferably by telephone.
  • Reports from physicians (under 12VAC5-90-90: Those required to report) shall now include all available laboratory tests and results when reporting.
  • Under 12VAC5-90-90.D, it has been clarified that persons reporting an outbreak may report identifying and contact information for individuals included in the outbreak.
  • Under 12VAC5-90-110, a change was made to be consistent with the Code of Virginia in allowing registered nurses or other licensed professional as authorized by the Code to provide immunizations.

Many of the other changes were related to clinical laboratory practice.  The reportable laboratory testing procedures for many conditions were updated to reflect current technologies.  Additional changes involved alterations in language and terminology that were made to reflect current scientific usage and provide clarification.

Disease reports are submitted to the local health department serving the jurisdiction where your practice is located.  Reporting forms can be found on the VDH website.  Your local health department is available to answer any questions you may have about reporting or to assist you with this process in any way.  We appreciate your continued collaboration in our mutual effort to protect the health of the people of Virginia.


Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP
State Health Commissioner

Laurie Forlano, D.O., M.P.H.
Director, Office of Epidemiology
State Epidemiologist