Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by the entrance into the body of harmful microbial organisms which grow and multiply. The diseases of most concern to the health and welfare of communities are those that are communicable – that is, those caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites and transmitted from an infected person/animal and/or contaminated food or water source to another person or animal. Franklin County is susceptible to many common infectious diseases, such as seasonal flu, as well as diseases that are newly emerged, such as H1N1 Influenza.
Like Ohio and the rest of the U.S. and world, Franklin County was impacted by the 2009 influenza pandemic. As of August 4, 2009, there were 35 confirmed cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza among Franklin County residents; however, more than 360 reports required public health follow-up. Since that time, individual cases of disease were no longer reportable in Ohio. Both Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Board of Health continue heightened surveillance as a result of the pandemic and continue collaboration with the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As with any virus, mutation is likely to occur as the disease spreads. This could make current vaccines less effective, leaving unknown segments of the population vulnerable. It is this threat that makes it necessary for public health professionals to continue to monitor infectious diseases and for communities to stay vigilant with prevention practices. Limiting the spread slows the virus’s ability to mutate.
Click here to view the current Annual Summary of Reportable Diseases for Columbus and Franklin County.
For more information about infectious diseases see the following:
Ready.gov at: www.ready.gov/pandemic
Franklin County Public Health: www.myfcph.org/ep.php
Columbus Public Health: publichealth.columbus.gov/
Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/