The Tuscarawas County Health Department has released the 2018 Communicable Diseases Annual Report. The report summarizes the confirmed, probable and suspected cases of communicable diseases reported to The Tuscarawas County Health Department and The New Philadelphia City Health Department during 2018 and is composed by the departments’ joint epidemiologist.

A communicable disease is illness that is spread from one person to another through a variety of ways which may include: contact with blood and bodily fluids; breathing in an airborne virus or bacteria; or by being bitten by an insect carrying a disease. By Ohio law these certain illnesses are to be reported to local health districts. For a full list of reportable communicable diseases go to: http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS%2008087/

The following are some highlights from the 2018 Annual Communicable Disease Report:

· There was a total of 644 cases of communicable diseases reported to the County in 2018 of which 540 were confirmed

· The overall incidence rate of confirmed cases in 2018 increased by 25% from 2017 (585.1 vs. 467.4 cases per 100,000 population). This is due, in part, to increased incidence of gonorrhea 32.5 in 2017 to 46.6 cases per 100,000 population in 2018 an increase of 42%. Influenza-associated hospitalizations 49.8 per 100,000 in 2017 to 126.8 per 100,000 in 2018 and increase of 154%. And Lyme disease increased from 6.5 in 2017 to 17.3 cases per 100,000 population in 2018 an increase of 166%

· There has been a steady increase in the number of confirmed cases of Campylobacteriosis. This is an infection transmitted by eating under cooked poultry, contaminated water or milk from an infected cow, or improper hand washing or sanitizing utensils/cutting boards

· The number one reported communicable disease was Chlamydia (216 confirmed cases). Chlamydia continues to be the most reported communicable disease in Tuscarawas County. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease. Often, there are no signs and symptoms. Individuals at risk for contracting Chlamydia include individuals who have multiple partners, those who choose not to use condoms and if infected do not tell partner(s) so they can be treated, as well.

To read the entire 2018 Reportable Communicable Diseases Annual Report go to: http://www.tchdnow.org/communicable-disease-reporting.html