Notifiable diseases are those for which regular collection of case information is deemed necessary in preventing and controlling the spread of disease among the population. State and local officials have the authority to mandate diseases reporting within their jurisdictions. Nationally notifiable diseases are suggested by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE); participation by states and territories in the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) is voluntary.


To prevent the introduction and subsequent spread of cholera, smallpox, plague, and yellow fever in the United States, in 1887 the Congress authorized the U.S. Marine Hospital Service, now the Public Health Service (PHS), to collect case data from overseas consuls. The collection of information on these first four notifiable diseases was expanded to include cases in the ...

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