Lincoln County Health Department

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Communicable Disease

Common Communicable Diseases Information

What is a communicable disease?

An illness due to a specific infectious agent or itís toxic products that arises through transmission of that agent or its products from an infected person, animal, or inanimate reservoir to a susceptible host; either directly or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector or inanimate environment.

It is the passing of a bacteria, virus, protozoa or other agent from one person or reservoir to another, causing illness.  This transmission can occur through direct transmission (hand shake, kiss, sneeze or cough) or indirect transmission (through contaminated food or water, etc). 

What is being done to prevent Communicable Disease?

Lincoln County Health Department works with health care providers and medical laboratories to monitor the health status of our community and evaluate trends and illnesses that occur.   If health trends or illnesses indicate an increase in a certain disease, the Health Department and Health Care Providers work together to determine the source and prevent the spread of the illness.  This is done through education, intervention, and at times, enforcement. 

The primary goal is to provide a healthy community in which we can live, work, and play.

Washington Administrative Code 246-101 requires health care providers and laboratories to report a number of illnesses/conditions that are diagnosed with laboratory confirmation to the local and state health departments.  Once these reports are received at the Health Department, an epidemiological evaluation is conducted to help determine the source of the illness and take steps to prevent further spread.  

Common Communicable Diseases


Dengue Fever

Kawasaki Syndrome
Lyme Disease

Meningococcal Disease

Pseudomonas Folliculitis

These are just a few of the many communicable diseases that the Health Department monitors on a routine basis.  Through partnerships with health care providers and laboratories, illness trends are continually monitored and managed to keep you safe.

Did you know?

In 2000, the incidence rate for AIDS in
was 8.2 per 100,000 people.  This is well below the national incidence rate of 15.1 per 100,000. 

  • Of the 478 cases in 2000, 84 % were male and 16 % were female.

The Lincoln County Health Department works to educate citizens regarding high risk behaviors in an effort to reduce exposures.

Acute Viral Hepatitis is a systemic infection primarily affecting the liver.

  • Hepatitis A has an incubation period (time between exposure and onset of illness) of 2-7 weeks.  Fecal-oral transmission is through direct contact or through fiscally contaminated water or food.  In 2000, 298 cases were reported in Washington with one death.

    • Hepatitis A vaccine prevents infection for those at risk including those planning extended travel to risk areas and persons with Hepatitis B or C.

  • Hepatitis B, C are all transmitted through direct contact with blood or body fluids. Currently there is not a vaccine available for Hepatitis C.

    • A vaccine is available for Hepatitis A & B.

is a bacteria that causes illness in humans and animals.  The disease in humans is characterized by sudden onset of headache, fever, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and sometimes vomiting, with illness lasting several days.  The incubation period is 6 to 72 hour, generally 12 to 36 hours.  Animals (especially reptiles, chickens, cattle, dogs, and cats) can carry Salmonella chronically and be a source of human infections

In 2000, 659 cases were reported in Washington State.  Salmonella can occur year round, but usually peak during the summer and early fall.

Tuberculosis is a mycobacterium disease usually involving the lungs. 
The mode of transmission or exposure is airborne droplets from sputum of the person with infectious TB.  TB is detectable by use of the tuberculin skin test; diagnosis of pulmonary x-ray and microscopic examination and culturing the sputum.

In 2000, 258 cases of tuberculosis were reported in Washington State.  Franklin and King counties had the highest incident rate with no cases in Lincoln County.

Psittacosis is caused by Chlamydeous psittaci  and is most commonly
carried by Psittacoses birds (parrots, parakeets, cockatiels)  This disease can be carried by birds purchased in pet stores.  Birds may be symptomatic, particularly if stressed, but healthy birds can also carry the organism.  Feces and nasal secretions may remain infective for months.