Communicable Disease

What is a communicable disease?

A communicable disease happens when a virus, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, parasite prion causes an individual to get sick.  Depending on the infection, a person may or may not show symptoms. Symptoms are different for each type of infection. Communicable diseases can be spread from person to person by means of direct physical contact with an infectious person, eating contaminated foods or beverages, exposure to contaminated body fluids, touching contaminated surfaces or objects, breathing in particles from the air, or being bitten by an infected insect or tick.

Preventing Communicable Diseases:

  • Wash your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze
  • Stay home when feeling sick
  • Stay up-to-date on immunizations
  • Practice healthy behaviors, such as eating well, sleeping at least 7 hours each night and exercising regularly
  • Use appropriate protection (example: condoms)

What to do if you think you have a communicable disease:

Call your doctor, visit an urgent care clinic or contact a local health department to discuss your concerns with a public health nurse. *please note: public health nurses are not able to diagnose illness or disease

Who reports communicable diseases?

  • Public
  • Healthcare professionals
  • School nurses or other staff
  • Senior living centers
  • Daycare Facilities

If you would like to report a communicable disease, or if you have questions about a communicable disease and reporting protocol, please call a public health nurse at 414-329-5275 or email