The Epidemiology (EPI) Program conducts surveillance and follow-up investigations of 54 diseases that are reportable by law in the state of Tennessee (excluding STDs, TB, and HIV/AIDS which are followed by staff in our Communicable Disease Clinic). Local physicians, hospitals, and labs report cases of notifiable diseases to the EPI program. A nurse in the EPI Program interviews each case to determine likely sources and risk factors for contracting the disease, to ensure that the patient receives adequate treatment and education about preventing disease transmission, and to determine the need for follow-up and treatment of contacts if required. Additionally, the EPI Program monitors data from a variety of sources in order to rapidly detect signs of a possible disease outbreak. EPI Program staff respond to foodborne outbreaks, other disease outbreaks, and isolated complaints of communicable disease throughout the county.
When appropriate, community medical provider notification of a disease outbreak is disseminated by the EPI Program. The Program maintains close communication with Infection Control Personnel of area hospitals to rapidly communicate and coordinate action in disease outbreak settings. Consultation is also offered to day care facilities, schools, and other entities that are concerned about maintaining control of communicable diseases within their setting. Calls from the medical community and from the public regarding communicable diseases are handled by EPI Program staff. Information is available on bloodborne pathogens and other communicable diseases and the prevention of their transmission.
Quarterly, the EPI Program publishes the EPI Update newsletter that contains current infectious disease information and statistics for East Tennessee. It is mailed to approximately 2000 medical providers and veterinarians in Knox County and the East Tennessee Region.
Staff in the EPI Program can be reached by calling 215-5093.
Tennessee Department of Health Notifiable Disease List and Reporting form (click on links below).