Infectious disease surveillance is the ongoing collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data. This type of assessment is a core public health function. Communicable disease surveillance monitors patterns of disease occurrence and assesses the populations health status. Surveillance can detect sudden changes in disease occurrence, such as an outbreak, or identify long-term disease trends or new and emerging diseases. Surveillance activities are linked to public health actions, such as investigation, control and prevention, evaluation, or planning and allocating resources to address the diseases affecting the population.

The Epidemiology Division maintains an active surveillance program of health-related conditions within the City of Laredo, Duval, Jim Hogg, Webb, and Zapata Counties. The ultimate goal of the epidemiology division is to predict health related conditions, identify the risks, and implement elements that can lower morbidity and mortality. The Epidemiology Division investigates confirmed and suspected cases of infectious diseases and conditions that are reported by physician’s offices, hospitals and medical laboratories. Our team ensures that action is taken to prevent infectious disease outbreaks in the area.

Who Must Report?

The Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Act (Health & Safety Code, Chapter 81) requires physicians, dentists, veterinarians, and chiropractors to report, after the first professional encounter, each examined patient suspected of having a reportable disease. Some individuals at hospitals, laboratories, and schools are also required to report.

All diseases shall be reported by name, age, sex, race, ethnicity, DOB, address, telephone number, disease or condition, date of onset, method of diagnosis, and name, address, and telephone number of physicians.

For a list of the most current reportable disease conditions in the State of Texas, please visit:https://www.dshs.texas.gov

To report a Texas Notifiable Disease Condition to the City of Laredo Health Department’s Epidemiology Division, please fax laboratory results to (956)-795-4953.

For any comments, questions, or concerns regarding an infectious disease, please contact our office at (956) 795-4951. We are available Monday-Friday 8 AM-5PM.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

The PHEP program performs public health disease surveillance, preparedness and intervention plan, designed to upgrade state and local public jurisdictions’ preparedness for the response to bioterrorism, other infectious diseases, as well as other public health threats and emergencies. This program was created on June 1, 2002, and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

The PHEP program services have been extended to the counties of Webb, Duval, Jim Hogg, and Zapata. The mission of the PHEP program is to detect and predict act of bioterrorism or threats as early as possible through an active and responsive disease surveillance system. The program also coordinates immediate control efforts and further prevents the spread of disease.

The PHEP program addresses 15 Capabilities:

  • Community Preparedness
  • Community Recovery.
  • Emergency Operations Center Coordination
  • Emergency Public Information and Warning
  • Information Sharing
  • Mass Care
  • Medical Countermeasure Dispensing
  • Medical Materiel Management and Distribution
  • Medical Surge
  • Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
  • Public Health Laboratory Testing
  • Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigations
  • Volunteer Management

Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is a national repository of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical materiel/supplies that are available to protect the general public if there is a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Each State and local jurisdictions have plans to receive and distribute SNS supplies to the targeted population as quickly as possible.

For more information:


To register as a volunteer, please email: phep@ci.laredo.tx.us

For volunteers, please access SNS trainings at  https://tx.train.org

After creating and account, search courses by ID number:

Course ID Course Name
1009414 SNS 110 POD Training
1010263 Working in a POD (1CEU)
1010523 The POD Game
1013282 SNS: Basic Intro for Hospital Preparedness Staff (1CEU)
1013352 Introductions to Points of Dispensing
1015200 SNS: A Basic Intro for SNS Volunteers (1CEU)      
1018973 Intro to SNS and Mass Prophylaxis (0.3 CEU)
1022753 POD Operations
1027222 SNS: A Basic Intro for SNS Medical Workers (1CEU)
1031228 Establishing Closed PODs: An Overview of Recruitment, Training and Operational Matters