Outbreak Detection & Investigation
Denver Public Health works behind the scenes every day to protect the health of Denver County residents by preventing the spread of infectious disease such as E. coli, hepatitis A, giardia, pertussis, and salmonella.
When a disease outbreak is suspected or reported, the Denver Public Health outbreak detection and investigation team partners with local government, business, community and state department of health representatives to:
- Determine the source of illness.
- Help control the spread of disease.
- Provide public health information, such as when to seek medical care.
- Make sure best practices are being used to help prevent future outbreaks.
We also monitor disease trends and patterns through the data we gather from daily disease reports.
In Colorado and in the United States, certain illnesses are, by law, reported to the health department. These diseases have public health consequences and are referred to public health officials for additional follow-up. Many of these diseases are spread by contaminated food, water, or person-to-person contact. Public health officials work daily to monitor the spread of illness within Denver and to prevent outbreaks from occurring.
Report an Outbreak
- To report a foodborne illness or a suspected outbreak when two or more people are ill with the same condition, call Denver Public Health at 303-602-3614 during business hours. To report an illness after hours or on weekends, call 303-602-3700.
- You can also contact the Department of Environmental Health's Public Health Inspection Division at 720-865-5401.
Resources and Statistics
Healthcare facilities are legally required to report certain illnesses to the health department. Most of these diseases are spread by contaminated food, water or per-to-person contact. We publish reports on the occurrence of these reportable diseases in Colorado every quarter.
Other helpful information we publish for community members and medical providers include:
- Information sheets on the common illnesses we see in Colorado. We encourage the printing and distribution of these information sheets by our partners for education purposes.
- Health Alert Notices (HANs) for healthcare professionals. We use HANs to alert healthcare providers in Denver of new or emerging diseases, changes in testing protocols, or emergent public health situations. If you are a healthcare professional and would like to subscribe to email distribution to future HANs, please contact Denver Public Health at 303-602-3614 or email us at DCPHP@dhha.org.