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Acute Communicable Disease Program

Preventing, investigating, and controlling the spread of communicable diseases and conditions in Philadelphia.


Communicable diseases are caused by germs, such as viruses or bacteria. They can spread from one person to another in a variety of ways, including:

  • Contact with blood or body fluids.
  • Breathing in germs.
  • From a bite from an infected animal or an infected insect.
  • From contaminated surfaces (like doorknobs or eating utensils), food, and water.

The Department of Public Health's Acute Communicable Disease Program:

  • Recognizes and investigates outbreaks of diseases to find out how people got sick and provide recommendations so they do not spread illness to others.
  • Tracks and monitors over 65 different communicable diseases and conditions, including new or emerging ones.

The program also helps to control communicable diseases by:

  • Providing medicine and vaccines to prevent disease among people exposed to certain communicable diseases.
  • Providing advice, consultation, and infection control guidance to doctors, nurses, administrators of long-term care facilities, and other health care professionals.
  • Educating people about ways to prevent the spread of different germs. To request educational materials (like fact sheets, posters, pamphlets), call (215) 685-6740 or email


1101 Market St.
12th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Fax: (215) 238-6947