Disease Reporting by Laboratories, Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Clinics, Other Health Care Facilities
South Carolina Law (44-29-10) and Regulations (61-20) require reporting of specified contagious and infectious diseases and conditions to the local health department "in the form and manner as prescribed by DHEC in regulations concerning infectious diseases. The reports must be made to the Bureau of Disease Control in the manner required in the regulations. When available, clinical information supporting the diagnoses, including results of specific diagnostic tests, must be included."
In South Carolina, these diseases and conditions are specified in the List of Reportable Conditions (pdf), published annually. The list also includes outbreaks of disease or unusual clusters of illness, events such as animal (mammal) bites and pesticide poisoning, and findings suggestive of disease (e.g., hemolytic uremic syndrome).
Diseases do not have to be confirmed to be reported - actions to prevent further spread of disease may be necessary while confirmatory tests are pending.
Federal HIPAA legislation allows disclosure of protected health information, without consent of the individual, to public health authorities for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease. (HIPAA 45 CFR §164.512)
For schools subject to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), FERPA allows reporting of illnesses without specific parent permission if a "health or safety emergency" exists. SC DHEC and the SC Department of Education have jointly determined that conditions where reports are requested immediately or within 24 hours by phone, including all clusters or outbreaks of illnesses, may be reported to SC DHEC by name, without parental consent. Disclosure of this information is documented in the student's/students' record(s) per local policies for FERPA compliance.
Conditions where reporting is required within 3 days may be reported to DHEC by name with parental consent. De-identified reporting is also allowed for these conditions. School personnel should work with local education agency nursing leadership, or local health department epidemiology staff to review processes for de-identified reporting of illnesses that may spread in schools, especially varicella.
Submit reports by one of the following methods:
To learn more about electronic disease reporting, call 1-800-917-2093.