Reporting cases of known or suspected infectious diseases to public health authorities in Maryland serves to protect the public's health by ensuring the proper identification and follow-up of cases. Public health workers at both local and state levels follow individual cases to ensure proper treatment, identify potential sources of infection, provide education to reduce the risk of transmission, identify susceptible contacts, and take other measures aimed at reducing the spread of disease. Analysis of data across all cases helps to monitor the impact of those conditions, measure trends, identify areas of risk, detect outbreaks, monitor control efforts, and allocate resources effectively. The Maryland Code of Regulations stipulates what conditions should be reported, who should report (mostly health care providers and laboratories), how reporting should occur, where reports are sent, important time lines, and when laboratories should submit specimens to the state public health laboratory. The information contained on these pages should answer most questions about any of those points.
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