Communicable Diseases

What are communicable diseases?

Communicable diseases are diseases that can be spread from person to person and sometimes animal to persons. Most communicable diseases can be controlled by vaccinations or medications. To prevent the spread of these diseases, it is important to identify, diagnose and treat as soon as possible. Sometimes, if the disease is easily spread by coughing or just being close, like the measles and chickenpox, or through sexual contact like gonorrhea and syphillis, it is important to identify other individuals who might have been infected to prevent further outbreak.

How to prevent communicable diseases

  • Practice proper hand washing and wash your hands often!
  • Cover your cough with a tissue or your inner elbow.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Handle and prepare food safely.
  • Follow recommended immunization schedules and stay up to date.
  • If you are sick, go see your doctor but otherwise try not to go out and expose others to your illness.
  • Follow your doctor's orders and use antibiotics properly.

Communicable Diseases

Humans can contact the disease when they come into contact with infected rodents or their urine and droppings.


The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Current flu information for the H1N1 virus (swine flu) can be found at


Methicllin-resistant Staphyloccus Aureus is a bacterial infection resistant to antibiotic methicillin.


Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the "stomach flu" or gastroenteritis in people.


Rabies is a virus, which affects wild animals, domestic animals, and humans through the central nervous system, causing encephalopthy and ultimately death.


Recreational Water Illness
Illnesses spread by swallowing, breathing, or having contact with contaminated water from swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers, or the ocean.


Tick-borne Illness
Ticks are the leading carriers of diseases to humans in the United States, second only to mosquitoes worldwide.


West Nile Virus
A virus spread by infectected mosquitoes, which can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease.


Montana law requires the tracking of communicable diseases to prevent and control disease outbreaks to insure the safety of the community.


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