National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System 

The “Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Communicable Disease Control” adopted by the Arkansas State Board of Health in 1977 pursuant to the authority conferred by Act 96 of 1913 (Arkansas statutes, 1947, Section 82-110) Section III, states “The responsibility for reporting certain communicable diseases is the duty of EVERY physician, practitioner, nurse, superintendent or manager of a dispensary, hospital, clinic, nursing or extended care home and laboratory personnel examining human specimens resulting in the diagnosis of notifiable diseases or any person in attendance on a case of any disease or conditions declared notifiable.”

Reportable diseases can be faxed to 501-661-2428 on the form below. Faxing is the preferred method, however,  you may phone in your report to our automated message center at 1-800-482-8888. Messages are received 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This information is transcribed daily, Monday through Friday.

Downloads    

Reportable Disease in Arkansas
Communicable Disease Reporting Form

To Report Diseases Immediately via Telephone:

  • Weekdays - Call 501-661-2893 (Local/Pulaski County – 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.)
  • After Hours/Weekends: Call 1-800-554-5738 between 4:30 P.M. on Friday until 8:00  A.M. on Monday, holidays or evenings.

For emergency reporting, e.g., bacterial meningitis, food borne outbreak, hepatitis A, etc  in a food handler, between 4:30 P.M. on Friday until 8:00  A.M. on Monday, holidays or evenings, call 1-800-554-5738.  This number is answered by the ADH Emergency Communications Center.  Ask to speak with a nurse in the CD/Immunization work unit.

History

In 1878, Congress authorized the U.S. Marine Hospital Service (i.e., the forerunner of the Public Health Service [PHS]) to collect morbidity reports regarding cholera, smallpox, plague, and yellow fever from U.S. consuls overseas; this information was to be used for instituting quarantine measures to prevent the introduction and spread of these diseases into the United States. In 1879, a specific Congressional appropriation was made for the collection and publication of reports of these notifiable diseases. The authority for weekly reporting and publication of these reports was expanded by Congress in 1893 to include data from states and municipal authorities.

To increase the uniformity of the data, Congress enacted a law in 1902 directing the Surgeon General to provide forms for the collection and compilation of data and for the publication of reports at the national level. In 1912, state and territorial health authorities--in conjunction with PHS--recommended immediate telegraphic reporting of five infectious diseases and the monthly reporting, by letter, of 10 additional diseases. The first annual summary of The Notifiable Diseases in 1912 included reports of 10 diseases from 19 states, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii. By 1928, all states, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico were participating in national reporting of 29 specified diseases.

At their annual meeting in 1950, the State and Territorial Health Officers authorized a conference of state and territorial epidemiologists whose purpose was to determine which diseases should be reported to PHS. In 1961, CDC assumed responsibility for the collection and publication of data concerning nationally notifiable diseases.

The list of nationally notifiable diseases is revised periodically. For example, a disease may be added to the list as a new pathogen emerges, or a disease may be deleted as its incidence declines. Public health officials at state health departments and CDC continue to collaborate in determining which diseases should be nationally notifiable; CSTE, with input from CDC, makes recommendations annually for additions and deletions to the list of nationally notifiable diseases. However, reporting of nationally notifiable diseases to CDC by the states is voluntary. Reporting is currently mandated (i.e., by state legislation or regulation) only at the state level. The list of diseases that are considered notifiable, therefore, varies slightly by state. All states generally report the internationally quarantinable diseases (i.e., cholera, plague, and yellow fever) in compliance with the World Health Organization's International Health Regulations.

Data on selected notifiable infectious diseases are published weekly in the MMWR and at year-end in the annual Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States.