The Josephine County Public Health Department monitors the occurrence of disease and arrival of new diseases. Physicians, hospitals, and laboratories submit disease reports to Josephine County Public Health, including unusual cases of respiratory disease. These reports are submitted to the Oregon State Public Health Department so that they can keep track of illnesses throughout the state.
Prior to a pandemic, as a new strain (such as H5N1) continues to spread in the bird population and subsequently infect humans, Josephine County Public Health, in collaboration with the Oregon State Public Health Department, will continue to provide the medical community with guidance regarding when to suspect avian influenza in patients and laboratory testing procedures.
If the virus begins to change and become more adaptable to person-to-person spread, the guidelines and reporting requirements will be modified according to the characteristics of the illness and communicated to the medical community to ensure prompt detection and monitoring.