How to Report a Communicable Disease

Disease Reporting is more important than ever. The Merced County Department of Public Health’s ability to conduct disease surveillance and control activities depends on timely disease reporting. Public Health could not perform these critical duties without the commitment of local health care providers. Ever disease report contributes to our ability to measure illness levels, identify outbreaks, initiate a timely public health response; and improve the community health.

The following items are key items to help local health care providers and other mandated reporters in reporting to local health departments:

1. List of Reportable Diseases and Conditions (Title 17, CCR Section 2500) Physicians and health care providers who suspect any of these diseases or conditions (that are listed) are required by law to notify public health within the specified time frame.

2. Confidential Morbidity Report (CMR) Forms (three versions: A, B, and C):

  • The CMR gives us critical information we need to follow-up on cases. This is the initial report form required from providers for any reportable disease or condition. Providers who suspect any of the diseases listed on the back of the CMR are required by law to notified public health.
  • There are now three versions of the CMR form:
Version A, for reporting most conditions including the sexually transmitted diseases;

Version B, only for reporting tuberculosis; and

Version C, only for reporting to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) conditions which may impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

3. Reporting to Other Local Health Departments (non-Merced County Patients):
If you have questions about disease reporting, call the Merced County Department of Public Health, Disease Surveillance & Investigation Unit at 209-381-1020. After Hours: (209) 725-7011 for the On Duty CD Representative.


Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 17 (Section 2500), public health professionals, medical providers, and others are mandated to report approximately 85 diseases or conditions to their local health department.

Additionally, anyone in charge of any type of school is also required to report these diseases (Section 2508), as are laboratories (Section 2505).

To report to Local Health Department using CalREDIE, please contact local communicable disease program.

Why Report?

The primary objectives of disease surveillance are: 
  • Protecting the health of the public
  • Determining the extent of morbidity within the community
  • Evaluating the risk of transmission
  • Intervening rapidly when appropriate
How the Reports are Used
The reports remain confidential. The Merced County Department of Public Health shares much of its information with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and they in turn report certain diseases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These reports enable appropriate public health follow-ups with patients, help identify outbreaks, and provide a better understanding of morbidity patterns (at local, state, and national levels).