General Information

Communicable diseases, sometimes called infectious diseases, are illnesses caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Sometimes the illness is not due to the organism itself, but rather a toxin that the organism produces after it has been introduced into a human host.hand-washing-640

Communicable diseases may be transmitted (spread) either by:

  • one infected person to another,
  • from an animal to a human, or
  • from some inanimate object (doorknobs, table tops, etc.) to an individual.

It is important to note that some communicable diseases can be spread in more than one way.

Hospitals/clinics are required by law to report certain communicable disease to the local health department and it is the local health department’s responsibility to follow up on these diseases/illnesses as they are considered to have great public health impact. To see a list of reportable diseases, please check the Department of Health Service’s Disease Reporting page.

To learn more about communicable diseases, call the Forest County Health Department at 715-478-3371, or view the Department of Health Service’s Communicable Disease Fact Sheets page.

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