Using OHHABS

One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System logo

The One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS) collects information to help CDC and partners better understand harmful algal blooms (HABs) and help prevent human and animal illnesses caused by HABs.

The One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS) is a voluntary reporting system available to state and territorial public health departments and their designated environmental health or animal partners. Staff at agencies that report to OHHABS can use the resources below to collect and report information in OHHABS.

Forms

Report information in OHHABS by either directly entering information into the online system or importing PDF forms. Use the PDF forms below to collect and import information about harmful algal blooms (HABs) and associated illnesses in humans and animals. Use the fillable forms if you want to fill out PDF forms electronically. You can print and fill out the static PDF forms by hand. Read the instructions for importing fillable or static PDF formspdf icon.

These forms can be used by partners without direct access to OHHABS to collect and share information with people who report in OHHABS.

The forms below can be used by partners without direct access to OHHABS to collect and share information with people who report in OHHABS.
Form Type Fillable Forms Static Forms
weather iconHAB
Use this form to report HABs in water bodies or information about the most likely food source for foodborne illnesses.

Note: HABs can be reported even if no human or animal cases of illness have been associated with the HAB.

Environmental Form (fillable) pdf icon[PDF – 4 pages] Environmental Form (static) pdf icon[PDF – 4 pages]
user solid iconHuman Case of Illness
Use this form to report individual cases of human illness.

Note: If multiple people became ill following exposure to a HAB, please submit a report to both the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) and OHHABS. NORS is used to report at the level of an outbreak (two persons linked epidemiologically by time, place, or exposure). Data are reported to NORS in aggregate; data are reported to OHHABS for individual cases.

Human Case Form (fillable) pdf icon[PDF – 6 pages]
Background transparent image 1
Human Case Form (static) pdf icon[PDF – 6 pages]
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dog iconAnimal Case of Illness
Use this form to report individual or multiple cases of animal illness, including cases in:
  • Pets, such as dogs, cats, parrots, and guinea pigs
  • Livestock, such as cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, and horses
  • Wildlife, such as birds, sea lions, fish, and deer

Note: You can report animal cases of illness individually (e.g., single dog, single sea lion) or at the group level for multiple animal cases (a fish kill, a herd of cattle, a flock of birds). You can indicate whether you are reporting a single case or a group of animal illnesses. Where possible, single case reporting is preferred.

Animal Case Form (fillable) pdf icon[PDF – 5 pages] Animal Case Form (static) pdf icon[PDF – 5 pages]

Guidance

Use the guidance documents below to assist with using OHHABS and reporting HABs and illnesses caused by HABs.

Technical Assistance Use this document to help you:
Technical Assistance documents
bullseye pointer iconGetting Started and Technical Features pdf icon[PDF – 28 pages]
  • Log into OHHABS
  • Use OHHABS features
  • Create, edit, finalize, and share reports
download iconPDF Import Guidance pdf icon[PDF – 9 pages]
  • Import PDF forms
  • Add and replace forms
Public Health Assessment Tools Use this document to:
Public health assessment tools documentation
user solid iconPublic Health Assessment Tool – Human Case pdf icon[PDF – 6 pages] Assess whether a human or animal illness was likely caused by exposure to a HAB before reporting in OHHABS.
dog iconPublic Health Assessment Tool – Animal Case pdf icon[PDF – 6 pages]
Event and Case Definitions Use this document to:
Event and Case Definitions documentation
device iconHAB Event, Human Case, and Animal Case Definitions pdf icon[PDF – 3 pages] Classify a HAB event or case of illness as suspected, probable, or confirmed for your OHHABS report.
Form Guidance Use this document to help you:
Event and Case Definitions documentation
weather iconEnvironmental Form Guidance pdf icon[PDF – 21 pages] Complete the environmental form to report a HAB.
user solid iconHuman Form Guidance pdf icon[PDF – 23 pages] Complete the human form to report a human case of illness.
dog iconAnimal Form Guidance pdf icon[PDF – 25 pages] Complete the animal form to report an animal case of illness.
food iconFoodborne Illness Guidance pdf icon[PDF – 22 pages] Complete the environmental, human, and animal forms for foodborne illnesses.
map iconMultistate Reporting Guidance pdf icon[PDF – 14 pages] Complete the environmental, human, and animal forms for HABs and illnesses when a HAB impacts more than one state.
lab iconAlgae, Algal Toxins, and Other Pathogens List pdf icon[PDF – 21 pages] Classify algae and algal toxins in the environmental, human, and animal forms.
Data Dictionary Use this document to:
Data Dictionary documentation
book iconOHHABS Data Dictionary excel icon[XLS – 42 KB]
  • Understand the format and variables used in OHHABS
  • Analyze data entered in OHHABS by your state

How can I start reporting in OHHABS?

OHHABS is used by public health departments and their designated environmental health and animal health partners.

If you are a public health professional, an environmental health professional, or an animal health professional interested in reporting to OHHABS, please contact your state’s OHHABS Reporting Site Administrator (RSA) to gain access. For assistance on identifying or contacting your state’s OHHABS RSA, please email NORSAdmin@cdc.gov.

If you are a healthcare provider or veterinarian, please report illnesses caused by HABs to your local or state health department.

If you are a member of the public and would like to report a HAB or an illness caused by a HAB, please contact your local or state health department.

What is the difference between HAB reporting in NORS and OHHABS?
OHHABS and NORS Compared

OHHABS was built on the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) platform, and the two systems have a similar interface. However, NORS and OHHABS capture different types of HABs data.

NORS is an event-based reporting system for foodborne, waterborne, and enteric disease outbreaks. It can collect HAB-associated aggregate outbreak data, meaning summary data describing two or more people.

OHHABS is an event-based reporting system for HABs and associated individual human and animal cases of illness.

A HAB-associated outbreak can be reported in both NORS and OHHABS. Find reported outbreaks of human illnesses caused by HABs on the National Outbreak Reporting System dashboard.

What resources can I use to share OHHABS and HABs information?

OHHABS communication materials

Find fact sheets, social media messages, templates, and additional resources in our OHHABS partner toolkit and health promotion materials.

Use our OHHABS partner toolkit and health promotion materials to share information about OHHABS and HABs.

The toolkit includes resources to help you get started with OHHABS and share what you are doing to track HABs and illnesses:

Page last reviewed: July 16, 2020