Vilas County Public Health - Public Health - Communicable Disease


















Communicable Disease

Reporting & Surveillance

The Communicable Disease Prevention and Surveillance program at the Vilas County Health Department monitors the occurrence of specific diseases and works to prevent the spread of those diseases on a community-wide basis. Communicable or infectious diseases are illnesses caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. They may be transmitted or spread:

  • From one infected person to another
  • From an animal to a human
  • From an inanimate object (such as a doorknob or a tabletop) to a human

Physicians, hospitals, and clinics are required by law to report certain communicable diseases to the local health department. It is the health department's responsibility to follow-up on these disease/illnesses as they are considered to have a great public health impact. Nurses at the health department provide confidential consultation and follow-up on all communicable diseases.

The Public Health Department is the first agency to be contacted when circumstances point to communicable diseases. Each case is individually investigated. Our specially trained staff assess, evaluate and monitor reports of communicable diseases to prevent epidemics, control outbreaks of disease or infection and minimize the threat to individuals, family members or the entire community.

For more information on communicable diseases, see the fact sheets provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Services & Education

To prevent and control communicable disease in Vilas County, the Public Health Department is utilizing the tools of surveillance, outbreak response, education, and preparedness activities.

A communicable disease or condition may be transmitted directly or indirectly from person to person. Communicable disease outbreaks and risks usually receive widespread media attention and community interest. The Public Health Department proactively educates and addresses concerns and inquiries of the news media on communicable diseases.

HIV/AIDS Testing Program

The HIV/AIDS Testing program provides confidential and anonymous testing and counseling. The Oneida County Health Department is one of six anonymous HIV testing sites in Northern Wisconsin. The program also provides HIV/AIDS education and testing to at risk populations. For more information about our AIDS/HIV Testing program, please call us at 715-479-3656.

Sexually Transmitted Disease Program

State statutes mandate county health departments to provide sexually transmitted disease follow-up, assure that contacts receive screening and treatment, and collaborate with area health care providers on surveillance and follow-up. For more information about our Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing program, please call us at 715-479-3656.

Tuberculosis Control Program

The Tuberculosis Control (TB) program facilitates activities to ensure identification and appropriate follow-up care of individuals who may be at higher than usual risk of contracting or spreading tuberculosis. Of particular concern are those individuals who live or work in congregate settings such as community-based residential facilities, day care programs, foster care homes, the County Jail and residential treatment centers.