Communicable diseases are those that can be passed easily from person to person. They may be passed directly, such as through a person’s cough or sneeze or contaminated hands. They may also be passed indirectly, such as through a vector like a mosquito.
Communicable diseases put everyone in a community at risk. They must be monitored and controlled because they may be passed easily from person-to-person, they may occur frequently, or they may be severe. Some can be prevented with vaccinations and hand washing, but others are newly emerging diseases or may be resistant to antibiotics.
Certain diseases must be reported to the Health Department, according to Missouri Law. Epidemiologists (or disease detectives) from the Montgomery County Health Department collect disease surveillance reports from local schools and physician offices each week. They investigate reportable cases of illness like meningococcal diseases, salmonellosis, hepatitis, rabies, listeriosis, West Nile virus, tuberculosis, and others identified by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
It takes cooperation from all members in a community to help prevent and stop the spread of communicable diseases. You can do your part to help protect our community.
• Wash your hands.
• Sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Keep your children home from school, daycare or other activities when they are sick.
• Get recommended immunizations.
• Stay healthy by eating well and getting adequate sleep and the recommended amount of physical activity.