Communicable Disease Program

What is a Communicable Disease?➡

What is a Communicable Disease?

A communicable disease is one that is spread from one person to another through a variety of ways that include: contact with blood and bodily fluids; breathing in an airborne virus; or by being bitten by an insect.


NYS DOH requires reporting of certain communicable diseases.  The local health department is responsible for a communicable disease program designed to minimize the incidence and impact of communicable diseases.

Mandated activities include all disease-specific protocols established by NYSDOH:

  • Conducting surveillance of communicable diseases;
  • Investigating suspected or confirmed communicable diseases as reported by mandated reporters (providers, labs, schools, and others);
  • Reporting public health communicable disease threats to NYSDOH;
  • Verifying diagnoses and identifying sources of infections;
  • Minimizing the spread of disease through early identification and prophylaxis of exposed persons;
  • Maintaining the capacity to perform multiple simultaneous investigations; and
  • Communicating [at least annually] with health care providers, clinics and laboratories about local data, diagnostic and treatment modalities and reporting requirements.

 In addition to these activities, we continually:

  • conduct outreach and education about communicable diseases and incidence of diseases in Essex County,
  • promote prevention strategies including immunizations for vaccine preventable diseases, and
  • provide updates regarding ECHD programs and services to community partners and the community at large.

See these tabs for more information about our Communicable Disease Program including: