Our office receives complaints from citizens and reports from doctors concerning any possible food borne or water borne diseases. These reports are compiled to determine if an outbreak has occurred. Although a single isolated complaint is not enough to prove that an outbreak has occurred, it is important that it be reported. When combined with other isolated reports, we are often able to determine that an outbreak has occurred.
When necessary, a specialist from the Environmental Health Division of the local Health Department will conduct an onsite investigation of any facility where a suspected food borne or waterborne outbreak may have occurred. Samples may be gathered, the operation reviewed, and people questioned in order to determine the source of the disease and corrective action necessary to prevent further outbreaks from occurring.
Donna Walsh is the Epidemiologist for the Orange County Health Department Disease Control Division. Dean Bodager is our local consultant with the Florida Department of Health, and Sharon Heber and Roberta Hammond are our advisors at the Department of Health in Tallahassee.
We will continue to work closely with the Department of Health laboratory in Jacksonville and with the CDC in Atlanta.