Public health authorities have designated several infectious diseases as important public health threats.
The laws governing medical practice require physicians and other care providers to report these cases to state and local government authorities who in turn send records based on these reports to the federal public health authorities.
CDC reports on the incidence of several sexually transmitted diseases, [including AIDS] and other diseases such as tuberculosis periodically.
CDC summarizes reports from these cases to show trends in reporting.
A limitation of these reports is that they are based on so-called “passive surveillance”—meaning that they only include cases that providers identify
While reporting is often mandatory, actual compliance may vary depending on the perceived importance and urgency of the conditions.