Very simply put, any disease that can be transferred from person to person is considered a contagious disease. A contagious disease emergency can affect many people. It can cause mild illness, hospitalization, or death in rare cases.In the event of an infectious disease emergency, the Palm Beach County Health Department will provide up-to-date information and instructions to the public through media and public outreach sources.
Palm Beach County Health Department
You are required to notify the County Health Department to report certain diseases/conditions, several of which you will find listed below. You can call them anytime, at (561) 840-4500. You can also find valuable information by visiting their website at http://www.pbchd.com/.
The latest list reveals nearly 100 reportable diseases/conditions in Florida. Some of the more important ones are listed below.
The measles virus is very contagious because it can infiltrate the mucosal tissues of the nose and throat. Specific measles symptoms include a dry cough, fever, light sensitivity, runny nose, skin rash and white spots with blue centers (Koplik spots) found in the cheek tissues. Also, a large skin rash develops. These symptoms typically develop 10 to 12 days after initial exposure to the measles virus.
The chicken pox is an infectious disease that used to affect approximately four million children each year. Less children are infected today with the advent of the chicken pox vaccine. Despite this, the chicken pox still remains very contagious.
Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a contagious infectious disease affecting the respiratory tract. Fever, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, body aches, diarrhea and vomiting are just some symptoms of influenza.
Pulmonary tuberculosis is an airborne disease that affects 10 people out of every 100,000 people in the United States. This disease occurs when a person inhales infected respiratory droplets.
Mumps refers to an infection that infiltrates the parotid glands, paired salivary glands on either side of the face. Outbreaks of mumps still occur in the United States and globally despite the availability of a vaccine to prevent it.
Viruses belonging to four different categories cause viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF). Early symptoms are muscle aches and fever. However, as the virus progresses, it often causes internal and external bleeding, because VHF affects the vascular system of the body. These viruses make the blood vessels porous, which can lead to minor or massive bleeding. Patients bleed under the skin, internally, or even from the eyes or mouth with this affliction. VHF affects internal organs, particularly the liver, lungs and kidneys. It is often fatal.
Known more commonly as pinkeye, conjunctivitis can occur due to an infection by a virus or bacterium. The disease can produce a discharge from the eye, as well as making it feel itchy and burning, the National Institutes of Health reports. Swelling also may occur. The condition typically clears itself, but may need antibiotic treatment if caused by a bacterium.
Viral meningitis, is an inflammation of the meninges or membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord. Bacteria and fungus can also cause meningitis. Sometimes viral meningitis spreads through contact with surfaces contaminated. It also spreads through saliva, mucus or feces. The virus, called enteroviruses multiplies in the digestive tract. Symptoms include fever, stiff neck, headache, vomiting, nausea and sometimes seizures. Ways to prevent meningitis include washing hands and avoiding contact with sick individuals. Proper cleansing of contaminated surfaces also proves important.
The sexually transmitted disease, genital herpes occurs through infection with the herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2. This disease typically affects the anus, buttocks and genitals. Oral herpes, more commonly called "cold sores," are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and affect the facial area, particularly the mouth. Herpes cannot be cured, but over time, most people have fewer and less severe outbreaks of the disease. Doctors may treat the symptoms with medications.