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:
**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)
Since the beginning of 2014, Deschutes County Public Health has identified 22 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough. These cases are not all linked so pertussis is now considered to be widespread throughout Deschutes County.
WHAT IS PERTUSSIS? Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is transmitted person to person through droplets from a cough or sneeze. Symptoms include a persistent, hacking cough severe enough to cause vomiting and even break ribs. The illness may last for up to three months or more, and may lead to pneumonia, hospitalization and missed work or school days
PREVENT ILLNESS: The best defense against Pertussis spreading is a well immunized community. Everyone 11 years and older are encouraged to get the Tdap vaccine and infants and children should be up to date on their DTaP vaccine series. The vaccine is available through local health care providers as well as most pharmacies for those 11 years and older. Deschutes County Health Services also provides these vaccinations. Call 541-322-7400 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
TAKE ACTION: Any person with symptoms similar to those described above should seek a medical evaluation by their provider to rule out pertussis. If pertussis is suspected and antibiotics are prescribed it is important to stay home for work or school for a minimum of five days of taking prescribed medication in order to reduce exposing others to the disease.
WHO IS AT HIGHEST RISK? Infants, medically fragile children, and pregnant women are at the highest risk of hospitalization and death from this disease so it is especially important for those who are in contact with these groups to receive their DtaP vaccine series or Tdap vaccine. It is also important for women who are pregnant to receive their Tdap vaccine given the higher rates of illness & hospitalization among babies <2 months of age.
People with pertussis may not be aware they have it and can spread it to others, including infants and children. Babies who have not received all of their shots for whooping cough are especially vulnerable to complications. Even adolescents and adults who don't typically come in contact with small children should be vaccinated to protect the community.
LEARN MORE: For more information about pertussis visit: http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/ or contact Deschutes County Health Services, Communicable Disease Line at (541) 322-7418.