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.
Communicable diseases may be transmitted (spread) in the following ways:
By one infected person to another
From an animal to a human
From some inanimate object (doorknobs, table tops, etc.) to an individual
Some communicable diseases can be spread in more than one way.
Wisconsin State Law requires some communicable diseases to be reported to the Local Health Department and requires the Local Health Department to act to prevent the spread of the infection to others.
Manitowoc County Health Department plays an important role in detecting, preventing, and controlling communicable diseases in the community. Activities of Department employees include:
- Investigate and follow-up on all reportable diseases and disease outbreaks in Manitowoc County
- Educate the public and notify the public about disease outbreaks
- Assure treatment
- Monitor disease rates and trends
- Guide public and private strategies to prevent infections