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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Last updated May 4, 2015. Available at:

The county or state health department will try to find the source of many of these illnesses, such as food poisoning. In the case of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) the county or state will try to locate sexual contacts of infected people to make sure they are disease-free or are treated if they are already infected.

  1. Mandatory written reporting. A report of the disease must be made in writing. Examples are gonorrhea and salmonellosis.
  2. Mandatory reporting by telephone.The provider must make a report by phone. Examples are rubeola (measles) and pertussis (whooping cough).
  3. Report of total number of cases. Examples are chickenpox and influenza.
  4. Cancer. Cancer cases are reported to the state Cancer Registry.