During the past few months The Journal has emphasized the importance of reporting actual and suspected cases of influenza to the local health officer. The tie-in of such reporting to the epidemiologic intelligence service of medicine has been stressed as a two-way proposition—providing data for the benefit of the entire profession, and receiving valuable information that can be applied to diagnosis in one's own community.
While the particular diseases that should be reported differ from state to state, the principle behind disease reporting remains the same. Notifying the local health department of a case of communicable disease is the first step toward controlling the spread of that disease and preventing an epidemic, where possible.
Basically, there are three ways to approach the control of any communicable disease. These ways might best be considered by visualizing a bridge over a rapidly flowing stream. On one side of the stream is the