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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Environmental Epidemiology and Disease Outbreaks

Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County

Environmental Public Health
Environmental Epidemiology services are provided by the DOH-Palm Beach to assist in the detection, investigation and control of diseases and conditions which are uniquely related to the external environment and influenced by environmental conditions. Examples of specific activities are listed below:
  • Diseases such at St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) are transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Monitoring of mosquito populations and the early detection of virus activity by sentinel chicken flock testing allow for early notification and precautionary measures to be implemented.

  • Rabies in local wildlife, such as raccoons, is carefully monitored by investigations of reported animal bites and testing of high-risk animals when necessary. A well-vaccinated domestic animal population is the barrier between this disease and humans.

  • Outbreaks of food and waterborne disease are infrequent but require diligent investigation of environmental conditions that could have contributed to the outbreak. Sampling and laboratory analysis of leftover food items is often helpful. Report a Food or Waterborne Illness Complaint Online.

  • Toxic substance exposures are also reported for environmental investigation. Home inspections and risk assessments are provided without charge to families with a child found to have an elevated blood lead level.

  • Staff members work in coordinated teams to assist with epidemiological investigations of suspected disease outbreaks of special public health significance. Targeted neighborhood outreach activities including door to door surveys and telephone interviews are often utilized.