What is epidemiology? 

In public health we don't just wait for things to go wrong. We focus on preparation by trying to prevent and anticipate public health problems. Epidemiology is at the core of that as it is a branch of medicine that in which those who practice deal with incidence and prevalence of disease in populations. Incidence is the number of new cases in a given time period (this varies by condition) and prevalence is the total number of cases. Epidemiologists try to detect and contain outbreaks and epidemics of disease through a number of methods. 

Detection and management of disease outbreaks requires coordination from local agencies and hospitals. In Texas there are a number of conditions that are mandated by law to be reported to local public health. The list of notifiable conditions can be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website and downloaded for reference. 

In addition to monitoring reports of disease as they are submitted epidemiologists also work with preparedness staff to develop plans for the response to public health events such as natural disasters and bioterrorism. 

If medical providers need to report any notifiable condition please remember to fax all information about the condition to our confidential Epidemiology fax line. 

Epidemiology Fax: 254-773-0862
After Hour Emergency Phone Number: