Communicable Disease Surveillance
A communicable disease or condition may be transmitted directly or indirectly from person to person. Communicable disease outbreaks and risks usually receive widespread media attention and community interest. The Health Department is the first agency to be contacted when circumstances point to communicable diseases. Each case is individually investigated. Our specially trained staff assess, evaluate and monitor reports of communicable diseases to: prevent epidemics, control outbreaks of disease or infection and minimize the threat to individuals, family members or the entire community. More than 50 diseases and conditions must be reported to local public health departments by any practicing, licensed or permitted health provider or laboratory.
Reportable Communicable Diseases & Conditions (PDF-1.80 MB)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's)
STD testing, education and treatment help protect men and women, their sex partners and unborn children from serious effects of untreated STDs. Surveillance, testing and treatment of STDs is a historic and core public health function. Early diagnosis and proper care help minimize the side effects and help prevent the spread of disease. Exams, testing and treatment are provided for all STDs to all persons, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status or gender. All information is strictly confidential. For more information go to our STD page.
TB is a bacterial infection that generally affects the lungs. In later stages, it can be transmitted to others when in close contact, damages other vital organs and can cause death if untreated. TB surveillance, testing and treatment are core public health services, provided by specially trained staff. Once thought to be nearly eradicated, TB cases have dramatically risen. The increased prevalence of HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant strains of TB complicate TB control. For more information go to our TB page.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) / Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Education, Testing, Referrals & Care
HIV/AIDS has affected Hernando County residents of all ages, races and socioeconomic status. From 1980 to 1998, more than 139 persons were diagnosed with AIDS in Hernando County. It is estimated that several times as many people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Although HIV weakens the body's immune system, people do not die directly from HIV infection. AIDS is a group of illnesses and opportunistic infections that attack the body once the immune system is compromised.
A countywide task force has been developed to help coordinate services, peer education and community outreach programs. Confidential and anonymous HIV testing with pre- & post-testing counseling are available to all persons who request it. HIV testing is free and offered at both Health Department / Health Center clinics.
The Specialty Care Clinic is available to any adult diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. It provides medical & dental care, education, assistance with financial programs, nutrition counseling and referrals. Information is also provided to families, friends and caregivers. In its first year of operation, this clinic was nationally recognized for its community partnerships. For more information go to our HIV/AIDS page.
Viral Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by one or more viruses. The most common Hepatitis viruses in the United States are:
The goal of the Hepatitis Program is to reduce hepatitis among residents and visitors of HernandoCounty. The program provides free Hepatitis vaccination and testing for high risk populations. In addition, the program provides education, screening, counseling, and referrals.