Epidemiology is the investigation of factors determining health and illness. The information gleaned from epidemiological studies provides the foundation of public health and preventive medicine. The Epidemiology Section includes programs for general epidemiology, tuberculosis infections, and rabies control. The section is staffed with an executive staff member, three nursing program specialists and a rabies control officer. Staff members are responsible for activities related to the confirmation of diagnoses, assessment of the risk to the health of the public, and initiating procedures to contain the spread of the diseases. Staff members are also responsible for reporting specified communicable diseases, conducting expanded surveillance in a six-county area to inform primary care practitioners, infection control practitioners, and county health department “epi” contacts of reporting requirements and updating on other current issues, initiating investigations into foodborne and other disease outbreaks, providing education and advice regarding diseases, and compiling records and reports.