The Epidemiology Department works to prevent and control the spread of communicable diseases and vector-borne illness among people who work, eat, play and live in Cabell County. Through our Epidemiology Department, we provide accurate information to help you stay healthy and safe.
Epidemiology is the method used to find causes of diseases and health outcomes in populations. Cabell-Huntington Health Department’s epidemiologists focus on Cabell County along with seven other counties in the western and southwestern part of the state. The primary roles of the epidemiologists at Cabell-Huntington Health Department are:
- To investigate diseases that are reportable in West Virginia
- To investigate outbreaks of diseases
- To help control the spread of infectious diseases
- To serve as a resource to medical providers, community partners and the general public
- To provide education on diseases and how to prevent or reduce the spread of infectious diseases
Epidemiologists investigate diseases by looking at who, what, where, when and how.
- Who is sick and who is at risk of getting sick?
- What are their symptoms and what is the disease that is making them sick?
- When did they get sick?
- Where could they have been exposed to the disease?
- And how can we stop or reduce the spread of the disease?
This information is then used to help control the spread of disease and to protect others from getting it.
Common Communicable Diseases
Information to help control the spread of disease and to protect others from getting it.
Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uh) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Everyone 6 months and older can get an updated COVID-19 vaccine.
The best way to reduce your risk from seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated every year. This page has resources to help answer your questions about flu vaccines.
Foodborne illness (sometimes called food poisoning, foodborne disease, or foodborne infection) is common, costly—and preventable. You can get food poisoning after swallowing food that has been contaminated with a variety of germs or toxic substances.
Hepatitis A,B, and C
Tens of thousands of people are newly infected with viral hepatitis every year in the United States. It is a serious public health threat that kills thousands of Americans annually and is a leading cause of liver cancer. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are vaccine-preventable and hepatitis C can be cured.
B virus infection is extremely rare, but it can lead to severe brain damage or death if you do not get treatment immediately. People typically get infected with B virus if they are bitten or scratched by an infected macaque monkey, or have contact with the monkey’s eyes, nose, or mouth. Only one case has been documented of an infected person spreading B virus to another person.
Almost everyone has been bitten by a mosquito. Mosquitoes can spread pathogens (germs) through bites. A person who gets bitten by a mosquito and gets sick has a mosquito-borne disease, like West Nile virus, dengue, or malaria.
If you find a tick attached to your skin, simply remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers works very well.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.
Resources For Medical Professionals
Healthcare Staff Exposure
Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
Click here to view this resource.
Health Alerts (HANs)
Reportable Disease Protocols
Reportable Disease Rule
Healthcare Infection Control
Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Click here to view this resource.