Infectious disease surveillance is the ongoing collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data. This type of assessment is a core public health function. Communicable disease surveillance monitors patterns of disease occurrence and assesses the health status of South Dakota's population. Surveillance can detect sudden changes in disease occurrence, such as an outbreak, or identify long-term disease trends or new and emerging diseases. Surveillance activities are linked to public health actions, such as investigation, control and prevention, evaluation, or planning and allocating resources to address the diseases affecting the population.

An important component of surveillance is sharing data back with health care providers, public health agencies, policymakers, and the general population. The surveillance cycle is not complete until disease information is relayed to those who have responsibilities for the various public health and medical actions. Surveillance assessment reports should serve to inform and motivate. Infectious disease surveillance endeavors to:

  • identify cases for investigation and follow-up
  • estimate the magnitude of a health problem and follow trends in its incidence and distribution
  • formulate and evaluate control and prevention measures
  • detect outbreaks or epidemics and generate appropriate interventions
  • monitor changes in infectious agents (e.g., antibiotic resistance, emerging infections)
  • facilitate epidemiologic and laboratory research
  • detect changes in health practice (e.g., impact of use of new diagnostic methods on case counts)
  • facilitate planning (e.g., allocation of program resources, policy development)

Monthly Infectious Disease Dashboard

Contact or Visit Us

In Pierre we are located in the State Health Laboratory building at the corner of 4th Street and Governors Drive, up the hill, north of the State Capitol building.

If you are arriving from the Airport, take the Airport Road until you reach the stop light at the Highway 83/14 Bypass. Crossing the highway the road becomes 4th Street. Continue on 4th Street until you reach the State Health Laboratory at the corner of Governors Drive.

State Public Health Laboratory
615 East 4th St.
Pierre, South Dakota 57501-1700
Main Line: 605-773-3737
Toll-free: 1-800-592-1861
Fax 605-773-5509

Find a Regional Office

Joshua Clayton, State Epidemiologist

Dustin Ortbahn, Infectious Disease Surveillance

Vicki Horan, Influenza Surveillance