Communicable Disease Control
This program prevents the spread of disease by investigating cases and outbreaks, promoting vaccination, and planning for infectious disease emergencies.
- Surveillance and investigation of reported communicable diseases
- Collaboration with hospital, physicians, and laboratories in reporting diseases
- Education and information to the professional and lay communities
- Provide support and investigation of biological or chemical threats
Communicable Disease Nurse
For Healthcare Providers, Schools, Child Care Facilities, and Long Term Care Facilities
Physicians, school administrators and child care operators, medical facilities and operators of restaurants and other food or drink establishments (G.S. § 130A-135 through 130A-139) must report cases or suspected cases of reportable diseases to their local health department, which in turn reports this information to the N.C. Division of Public Health (G.S. § 103A-140).
- For further guidance on what diseases are reportable and their respective reporting timelines, please visit the NCDHHS website at https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/report.html
What Diseases are Reportable?
NC Reportable Diseases
Required notification times are effective from the time that a reportable condition is reasonably suspected to exist and range from immediate to seven days, depending on the disease. Immediate reporting is required for potential bioterrorism-related diseases such as anthrax and botulism; the severe or highly communicable diseases such as cholera and cryptosporidiosis, must be reported within 24 hours of diagnosis; other conditions such as mumps and chlamydia, have a seven-day reporting timeframe.
Diseases Reportable within 24 Hours
Telephone reports are requested within 24 hours for diseases of unusual significance, incidence, or occurrence which may merit an epidemiological evaluation including foodborne and waterborne outbreaks where a common source is suspected.
For diseases and conditions required to be reported within 24 hours, the initial report shall be made by telephone to the Communicable Disease Nurse at 828-894-8271.
A NC Communicable Disease Reporting Form should also be completed and faxed to 828-894-8678.
Telephone reports should include:
- date of onset
- name of person making report
- telephone number of person making the report
- laboratory confirmation, if available
- patient name
- patient address
- patient age
- patient sex
- patient race
Diseases Reportable Within 7 Days
For diseases and conditions that must be reported within 7 days, a Communicable Disease Reporting Form should be completed and faxed to the health department at 828-894-8678.
For Individuals and Families: Preventing Communicable Diseases
Cover Your Cough!
Tiny droplets that exit the nose or mouth when a person coughs, sneezes or talks spread some diseases. Without meaning to, we can infect others when these droplets come into contact with another person's nose, mouth or eyes. Keep illness from spreading! If you have a fever with cough or rash, let your health provider know — they'll get you a mask.
Some diseases that are easily spread by droplets in the air include:
- Whooping cough
- Bacterial meningitis
- Coronavirus infections
- Varicella (chicken pox)
Symptoms of these diseases often include fever with a cough or rash. Good health manners can help prevent the spread of these diseases. If you are sneezing, coughing or have a fever, ask for a mask when you visit your doctor, hospital or other healthcare provider. Do not worry when you see healthcare staff and other people wearing masks. They are preventing the spread of germs.
Wash Your Hands!
Good hand hygiene can stop the spread of a number of illnesses and infections, including diarrheal stomach illnesses caused by E.coli, norovirus, and shigella. Some bacteria, like norovirus, can't be killed by alcohol hand sanitizers, so washing your hands well with soap and water is important.
Good Health Manners
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissues every time you sneeze or cough.
- Put used tissues into the trash.
- Wash your hands well and often with soap and water or use an alcohol hand sanitizer.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels or other personal items.
How to Stay Healthy
- Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- When possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get vaccinated!.