Epidemiology is the study of health and illness in the community and is considered the foundation of public health. At Monongalia County Health Department, our epidemiologists track infectious diseases, investigate and manage disease outbreaks, educate medical providers and the general public about illness in our community and teach how to prevent the spread of diseases.
When an outbreak occurs, our epidemiologists communicate with the facility or individual(s) to help track the disease and provide guidance on steps to work through the outbreak and prevent them in the future.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides extensive information about epidemiology on its website.
Disease reporting for health-care providers
To report a disease or to seek advice on how to deal with an infectious disease, call Monongalia County Health Department between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 304-598-5172. To reach an epidemiologist after hours about an emergency reportable disease (see below), call 304-680-4357.
The West Virginia Office of Epidemiology provides a list of reportable diseases in West Virginia. These specific incidents, such as an animal bite, or diseases, such as measles, that occur in Monongalia County should be reported to Monongalia County Health Department. These diseases should be reported within a certain time frame. Below is a list of diseases and incidents that should be reported either immediately or within 24 hours. Individuals who want to report a disease that requires a 72-hour window or longer can wait and call 304-598-5172 during normal office hours.
Click here for a pdf of the chart below
The West Virginia Office of Epidemiology provides an online list of recent health alerts to alert residents of infectious diseases that could be encountered close to home or on a trip.
The federal public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 ended on May 11, 2023 and as a result CDC has updated the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. To support healthcare workers in understanding and implementing the updated recommendations, CDC’s Project Firstline hosted a town hall in collaboration with the American Medical Association. Watch the on-demand recording.
Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) tools are used to systematically assess a healthcare facility’s infection prevention and control (IPC) practices and guide quality improvement activities (e.g., by addressing identified gaps).
Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DIDE)
The Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DIDE), a program from the West Virginia Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services (OEPS), monitors and manages communicable diseases in West Virginia through technical assistance, investigation, education and prevention. DIDE is staffed by epidemiologists, physicians, nurses and other experts infectious diseases. DIDE provides consultation regarding infectious diseases and outbreaks and in collaboration with local health departments investigates and reports these diseases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DIDE also provides educational materials on identification, management and prevention of diseases to clinicians and the public.
The proper guidelines for individuals with COVID-19 have changed. Follow the CDC's instructions for how to take the proper precautions.
Good hand hygiene is key to limiting the spread of diseases. Hands should be washed at certain intervals (after using the bathroom, before cooking, etc.) and in a thorough manner, using warm water and soap and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
Download a handwashing sign to use in your facility.