Outbreak Reporting

Definitions of an Outbreak:

    • Foodborne disease outbreak – Two or more epidemiologically related cases of illness following consumption of a common food item or items, or one case of the following:
      • Botulism
      • Fish poisoning such as Ciguatera poisoning
      • Cholera Scombroid poisoning
      • Mushroom poisoning
      • Paralytic shellfish poisoning
      • Trichinosis
      • Any other neurotoxic shellfish poisoning
    • Three or more cases of a disease or illness that is not a foodborne outbreak and that occurs in individuals who are not living in the same household, but who are epidemiologically linked.
  • An increase in the number of infections in a facility, such as a hospital, long-term care facility, assisted living facility, school or childcare center, over the baseline rate usually found in that facility.
  • A situation designated by the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as an outbreak;
  • One case of:
    • Anthrax
    • Rabies (human)
    • Plague
    • Smallpox
    • Any of the single cases above defined as a foodborne disease outbreak

An outbreak of a disease of known or unknown etiology that may be a danger to the public health should be reported to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health by telephone immediately 410-222-7256.

Who Should Report Outbreaks

The following persons and establishments shall report outbreaks:

  1. Health care providers (physician, physician’s assistant, dentist, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, nurse, medical examiner, administrator of a hospital, clinic, nursing home or any other licensed health care provider). Only physicians shall report diagnosed cases of AIDS. Onlylaboratories shall report evidence of HIV infection.
  2. Public, private or parochial school and child care facility personnel (teacher, principal, school nurse, superintendent, assistant superintendent or designee).
  3. Masters of vessels or aircraft within the territory of Maryland.
  4. Food establishments.
  5. Any individual having knowledge of an animal bite.

A NOTE ABOUT LABORATORIES: Reporting rules and procedures for laboratories are different than for health care providers. Directors of a medical laboratory shall report evidence of diseases under a separate statute (Health-General §18-205), using the list of diseases and formats specified there. Laboratories should not report using the DHMH-1140 form. For laboratory reporting of HIV infection, Maryland law prohibits reporting of a patient’s name; the patient’s Unique Identifier is to be used instead. Use of the Unique identifier is described in COMAR 10.18.02.05. Laboratory directors may consult Maryland law or regulation, or visit our Internet site for additional reporting information specific to laboratories.