Disease Reporting Frequently Asked Questions

What is reportable?

Utah Law requires that certain diseases and conditions must be reported to Utah public health. Some diseases must be reported immediately while others must be reported within three (3) working days after identification. Refer to the list of reportable diseases for information about the diseases that are reportable and the time frame in which they must be reported. For more detailed reporting specifications, click on “Information for Reporters.”

Who has to report?

ANYONE with knowledge of a reportable disease is required to report to public health. However, most reports will come from healthcare providers, laboratories, healthcare facilities, and schools and childcare programs.

How do you report?

Diseases may be reported to a local health department or the Utah Department of Health.

Reports can be submitted by:

  1. Fax: 801-538-9923
  2. Email: reporting@utah.gov
  3. Phone: 1-888-EPI-UTAH

The Utah Department of Health’s (UDOH) disease reporting fax line is an email fax and all documents are accessible only to certain staff to ensure patient confidentiality. If you do not have the ability to send an email securely, UDOH hosts an application, Public Health (PH) Access, with that capability. Click here for instructions on creating a PH Access account.

  1. Patient Information
    This includes the full name, date of birth, address, telephone number, gender, race, and ethnicity of the case.
  2. Disease Information
    This includes the disease being reported, date of onset, hospitalization status and date of admission, and pregnancy status and estimated due date.
  3. Diagnositic Information
    This includes the name, address, and telephone number of the diagnostic facility (where the case sought care), and the full name, address, and telephone number of the healthcare provider.
  4. Reporter Information
    This includes the full name of the person reporting the case, the name of the facility reporting, and the telephone number of the person or facility.
  5. Laboratory Information
    This includes the name of the laboratory performing the test, laboratory’s name for the test, specimen source, specimen collection date, testing results, test reference range, and test status (preliminary, final, amended and/or corrected).

A completed confidential morbidity report form can also be submitted.

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) mandates the reporting of certain diseases and conditions to public health. The data is used to monitor disease activity throughout the state; identify new or emerging diseases and outbreaks; control disease and outbreaks through public health interventions; and prevent the spread of disease through education.

UDOH participates in the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS); a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health departments throughout the United States, and the Council for State and Territorial Health Departments (CSTE) to collect standardized data for assessment at the national level.

Disease reporting is mandated by states and shared voluntarily with CDC through the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS), an integrated and interoperable public health surveillance system. NNDSS data is published nationally by CDC.

Additional Resources

Utah Code 26-6, the Communicable Disease Control Act, gives the Utah Department of Health authority to investigate and control communicable diseases and epidemic infections which may affect the public health. The Communicable Disease Control Act allows the Utah Department of Health to identify diseases that must be reported, and establish rules for how those diseases should be identified, reported, investigated and controlled. The Utah Department of Health establishes these rules through the Utah Communicable Disease Rule R386-702.

Public health in Utah also has the authority to collect any records or other materials necessary to conduct a thorough investigation. This may include medical records, additional laboratory testing results, treatment and vaccination history, clinical material, or contact information for cases, suspect cases, or persons potentially exposed.

Additional Resources

The Privacy Rule in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 defines all medical records or other identifiable healthcare related information collected by healthcare entities as protected health information (PHI). HIPAA states that a healthcare entity must obtain the individual’s consent prior to using or disclosing that individual’s PHI.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule also states that healthcare entities do not need to obtain an individual’s consent to share PHI with public health when public health is authorized by law to collect and receive the reported data. In Utah, this authority is established through the Utah Administrative Code and Rules.

Additional Resources

These documents should be used by public health reporters to ensure that they are compliant with R308-702 – Communicable Disease Rule.

If you would like to be notified of important changes to the Communicable Disease Rule, email reporting@utah.gov and ask to be added to the reporting listserv.

Printable Documents

Communicable Disease Rule Changes

R308-702 – The Communicable Disease Rule, was updated in May 2020.

Mandatory Specimen Submission Requirements

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) mandates that laboratories submit clinical material from patients identified with certain organisms to the Utah Public Health Laboratory (UPHL) within three (3) working days of identification.

Organisms Requiring Standard Submission

  • Campylobacter species
  • Candida auris or  haemulonii  from any body site
  • Carbapenem resistant:
    • Acinetobacter species
    • Enterobacter species
    • Klebsiella species
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Carbapenemase producing:
    • Acinetobacter species
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    • Enterobacteriaceae species, including Enterobacter species, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella species
  • Corynebacterium diphtheriae
  • Haemophilus Influenzae, from normally sterile sites
  • Influenza A virus, unsubtypeable
  • Influenza Virus (hospitalized cases only)
  • Legionella species
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Measles (rubeola) virus
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex
  • Neisseria meningitis, from normally sterile sites
  • Salmonella species
  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including enrichment and/or MacConkey broths that tested positive by any method for Shiga toxin
  • Shigella species
  • Staphylococcus aureus with resistance (VRSA) to vancomycin
  • Vibrio species
  • West Nile virus
  • Yersinia species
  • Zika virus

Any organism implicated in an outbreak, when instructed or authorized by local or state health department personnel.

Organisms Requiring Bioterrorism Submission

For the following organisms, laboratories must first notify UPHL via telephone immediately. UPHL can be contacted during business hours at 801-965-2400, or after hours at 801-560-6586.

  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Brucella species
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Yersinia pestis

Clinical material is defined as:

  • A clinical isolate containing the organism.
  • If an isolate is not available, material containing the organism in the following preference MUST be submitted:
    • A patient specimen
    • Nucleic acid
    • Other laboratory material

Additional Resources