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Using Health Data

Unlike clinical practice which looks at individual health records in order to treat individual cases of disease, public health is concerned with aggregated population health statistics. We look at numerous reports of disease in order to understand how disease is spread throughout a community.

In order for us to prevent disease, illness and injury, we need to know where it is. We know, for example, that you can get Lyme disease from being bitten by a deer tick because public health put together reported cases of a new illness to draw conclusions about symptoms and risk factors. We are able to stop a food borne illness outbreak by piecing together individual incidences of illness to identify a common source of infection.

In this section, you can find information about mandated reportable diseases, disease surveillance methods, and how we compile and analyze data. You can also find reports about the health status of our communities and links to websites that score or rank local health outcomes.