Communicable disease is a persistent threat to all people, regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, ethnic background or socioeconomic status.
St. Lucie County has a large and diverse population that fluctuates due to the continuous flow of visitors, seasonal workers and residents, as does the State as a whole. The County Health Department's Epidemiology programs are the front lines of disease control and prevention. The Division uses modern surveillance techniques and technology in the collection and analysis of communicable and environmental disease information.
St. Lucie County Health Department's surveillance of communicable diseases is described as a routine collection, analysis and dissemination of all data that may be relevant for the prevention and control of a public health problem. Early detection of a communicable or infectious disease rests upon the primary health care worker, who sees a case of a known communicable disease, or recognizes the first unusual symptoms and contacts the CHD. SLCHD's epidemiologist and epidemiology nurses partner with local hospitals, physicians, and laboratories to create an effective education and communication system that encourages accurate reporting of the diseases to the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization through the local Health Department. All reported diseases are investigated by the epi nurses and corrective measures instituted to prevent further spread of the disease.
Although some communicable diseases have been controlled by modern medical or technical advances, new diseases are constantly emerging. This makes the job of the local epidemiologist much more challenging now than in the past.