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 firstname.lastname@example.org.