Communicable diseases, also known as infectious or transmissible diseases, are illnesses that can be spread from one person to another or from an animal to a person. Pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and fungi cause these diseases. The spread of disease can happen through multiple ways including air, blood or bodily fluids, food, and water. The terms contagious and infectious are also used to describe communicable diseases. Contagious diseases are spread through contact; infectious diseases are spread by infectious agents, such as bacteria and viruses. While all contagious diseases are infectious, not all infectious diseases are contagious. For example, some foodborne illnesses are not able to be spread from one person to another, hence they are infectious but not contagious.
Communicable Disease Surveillance
Communicable disease surveillance is a multi-component system for monitoring the emergence and spread of contagious diseases. The data that this system monitors and analyzes includes, but is not limited to, demographic, geographic, and disease/condition-specific information. Accurate identification and timely reporting are key parts of successful disease control, and they enable public health agencies to:
With the right information, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and public health professionals can take timely and effective actions to save lives and keep Americans safe.
Examples of communicable diseases
Mosquito borne illnesses:
Tick borne illnesses:
Other communicable diseases:
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to rabies, contact the Kansas Department of Health & Environment's (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317. To determine if you need to begin post-exposure prophylaxis, use the link below to access KDHE's Rabies Expsoure Assessment tool.
For more information about rabies and state recommendations, please visit KDHE's rabies webpage below:
Karen Sattler is our Director of Nursing at the City-Cowley County Health Department. She helps track communicable diseases when they occur. She works directly with schools and hospitals to help prevent outbreaks by provide information and support as needed. Karen also ensures that the CCCHD staff is updated when there are changes to immunization schedules, vaccines, ‘best practices’, and so many other things. If you have any questions regarding communicable diseases, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or come by either office location. Karen or one of our other excellent nurses will be happy to chat with you.
2017-18 Local Influenza Surveillance Report
Cowley County, Kansas – Flu Activity
This report is a summary of observations and test result analysis compiled during the local 2017 – 18 influenza season (November – March) in Cowley County, Kansas to document the effect on the health of the local population.