Communicable diseases (CD) are those conditions that can be spread to others through air, touch, or through contact with contaminated body fluids. At Deschutes County Health Services, we work to prevent the spread of these diseases in many ways. The CD team is made up of the following programs:
Diseases that public health departments across Central Oregon keep track of are called "reportable" diseases. All physicians, healthcare providers and laboratory personnel are required by law to submit reportable disease information to their local health department.** There are currently over 50 communicable diseases that are reportable in Oregon. To learn more about these diseases, please visit: http://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/DiseasesAZ/Lists/Diseases%20AZ%20List/list.aspx
**When reports are made, all personal patient information is kept confidential.
Deschutes County Health Services has staff available to answer questions and investigate reportable communicable diseases. To report a disease or animal bite, call or fax your local health department. Give them the person's name, address, phone number, date of birth, diagnosis, and the date that symptoms began.
Reporting Line: (541) 322-7418
Fax: (541) 322-7618
Pertussis (whooping cough):
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by a bacterium that is found in the mouth, nose and throat of an infected person. Pertussis can occur at any age. Washington state is currently experiencing a pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic, however, Oregon numbers remain low so far. As of May 7, 2012, there have been 169 reported pertussis cases in Oregon. By comparison, as of May 5 there have been 1,284 cases reported in Washington.
Pertussis begins as a mild upper respiratory infection. Initially, symptoms resemble those of a common cold, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. Within two weeks, the cough becomes more severe and is characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs followed by a crowing or high-pitched whoop. A thick, clear mucous may be discharged. These episodes may recur for one to two months, and are more frequent at night.
Infants are at greatest risk for complications and death from pertussis. The most common way infants contract pertussis is from a caregiver or family member so it is especially important for adults, who are in contact with infants, to receive their Tdap vaccine.
All infants, beginning at 2 months of age should also begin getting their Dtap vaccination series to help protect them against pertussis. Deschutes County Health Services offers both Dtap and Tdap. Call (541) 322-7400 to schedule an appointment.
For more information about pertussis and the current situation in Oregon, visit: http://1.usa.gov/PertussisOregon.