What is Epidemiology?

Epidemiology (Epi) is a core branch of public health that deals with the control and prevention of communicable diseases (reportable diseases), chronic diseases, and injuries in the community. The Epidemiology Unit of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD) is a crucial component in the following service areas:

  • Reporting disease and injury prevalence to the public.
  • Compiling, analyzing, and reporting vital statistics.   
  • Investigating, intervening, and monitoring the incidence/occurrence of illnesses and injuries in Santa Barbara County. Investigation includes identifying an agent, source, time, mode of transmission and persons involved.
  • Monitoring reportable diseases reported by health care professionals in Santa Barbara County and assisting them in managing new and emerging infectious diseases.
  • Providing education and consultation to health care professionals, community groups and individuals is an important function of the epidemiology and disease control team.

Download a copy of the Reportable Disease List, for the types of diseases that must be reported to the Public Health Department or visit the Disease Control and Prevention page to learn more on how to report a case.

** 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Report - Santa Barbara County **