Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases are infections from pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi) that cause illness in humans and can be transmitted, or spread to other persons. Wisconsin State Law requires the reporting of acute communicable disease to the local health department for confidential investigation. Health Department Nursing staff follow up on these reportable diseases and conduct surveillance, usually by making contact with Health Care Providers and/or the individual who became infected. Nursing staff and the Environmental Health Specialist investigate foodborne and waterborne outbreaks in an effort to control disease transmission. The following are links to required disease reporting, and childhood communicable diseases.


Since May 14, 2022, the CDC has been monitoring new clusters of monkeypox in several countries where the virus is non-endemic including Europe, Australia, and North America. Typically, the illness does not spread in these areas. It is usually found in Central and West Africa. 

On June 30, 2022, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services identified the first case of monkeypox in a Wisconsin Resident. 

 Monkeypox is typically characterized by a new, unexplained rash that develops into hard, round, fluid or pus-filled skin lesions. Other symptoms may include fever, body aches and flu-like symptoms. For more information about the illness or the current outbreak click here.

Disease Prevention Tips

Number 1 Tip - Wash Your Hands!

Keep Calm and Wash Your HandsMost common colds, flu and gastrointestinal viruses ("stomach flu") may be prevented or minimized by the careful and repetitive act of handwashing.

Handwashing, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Good handwashing technique is easy to learn and can significantly reduce the spread of infectious diseases among both children and adults. Read more on the Handwashing (PDF).

Find out more on the Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives page.

Chlamydia & Gonorrhea

The most frequently reported of all communicable diseases are: Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.  Learn more about these infections and how you can prevent them.