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:
- Environmental Health
- HIV/AIDS Program
- Immunizations Program
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Tuberculosis Control Program
Interested in stopping germs before they spread? Check out tips at our Healthy Habits page.
Diseases that public health departments across Central Oregon keep track of are called "reportable" diseases. All 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: https://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/CommunicableDisease/Pages/index.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, 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
For animal bite reporting information, please visit: http://www.deschutes.org/health/page/animal-bites
Flu season is here - Protect yourself and your loved ones
Vaccination is the most effective way to avoid catching the flu virus, and the best way to protect yourself and your community from illness. The CDC recommends everyone aged 6 months and older should receive an annual influenza vaccination. A seasonal flu vaccination is especially recommended for people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, people living or caring for babies six months and younger, and all health care workers.
In addition to vaccination, these preventive measures can help stop flu and other diseases·:
- Cover your cough and sneeze.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and warm water.
- Stay home when you’re sick. Protect others at school and work by staying home at least 24 hours after a fever (100+ degrees) subsides.
- Clean surfaces. Flu germs can live for hours on hard surfaces. Make sure your home and workspace are wiped down frequently, especially where children are playing
Health officials monitoring outbreak of Zika virus, travelers should be aware
Recent outbreaks of the Zika virus in the Western Hemisphere have raised concerns about its spread and the risk to pregnant women and their babies. There have been no locally transmitted cases of Zika virus reported in Oregon.
Deschutes County health officials are closely following these developments. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, county officials are sharing the following information:
What you should know about the Zika virus:
Zika is a virus that is spread by mosquitoes. It was first identified in 1947 and has been found in tropical countries across the globe. Only about one in five people who are infected will get sick. For those who do get sick, the illness is usually mild. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, headache, and conjunctivitis (red eyes) lasting up to a week. Serious illness requiring hospitalization is uncommon. The most serious health effects are when Zika infects both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. Please contact your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and have traveled to an affected area.
What is happening now?
Since May 2015 in Brazil, an ongoing outbreak of Zika has caused over 3,800 cases of infants born with small heads and brain damage (known as microcephaly) related to infections that occurred during pregnancy. Other countries in Central and South America have also detected cases. More recently, the disease has been found in the United States in residents of several states who recently traveled to countries with Zika. On January 15, 2016, the CDC issued a travel alert that recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.
What is the risk in Oregon?
Zika virus is known to be carried by certain species of mosquitoes. There have been no reports of these mosquitoes in Oregon. Also, other diseases spread by the same mosquito species have not caused local infections here, even when sick people return from tropical areas.
How can travelers protect their health?
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus disease. The only way to prevent Zika is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes in countries that currently have Zika virus epidemics. Currently, the CDC advises that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to these countries. If a pregnant woman must travel to an affected country now, it is important to take all possible steps to prevent mosquito bites. Taking these steps will also protect against other serious and potentially life-threatening diseases that are spread by mosquitoes.
People who are traveling to an affected country are advised to take the following steps to prevent infection.
Mosquitoes that carry Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime, both outdoors and indoors. Protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants if possible. Use insect repellants containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or para-menthane-diol on exposed skin, and apply permethrin to clothing or buy permethrin-treated clothing. These products are safe to use by pregnant women. Sleep under a mosquito bed net unless you are staying in a building with air conditioning or window screens.
To learn more:
Information for pregnant women
Information in Spanish: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/zikapregnancyinfogr-span.pdf