Communicable Disease

Communicable disease is an illness caused by an infectious agent, such as bacteria, virus, fungi or parasites and/or toxin and can usually be passed from one person to another.

The Duplin County Health Department is responsible for the tracking of Communicable Disease in Duplin County residents. Staff conducts contact investigations, evaluations of disease, provides guidance on treatment to health care providers, and monitors patient’s course of illness to provide follow-up for reportable diseases. Communicable disease reporting under State law is a basic feature of our societal mechanisms for protection of public health. North Carolina law mandates healthcare providers and laboratories to report over 70 diseases or conditions to their local health department. Some examples of the reportable communicable diseases include Hepatitis A, B & C, coronavirus, influenza, measles, and salmonella and other food borne illnesses.

Some ways in which communicable diseases spread are by:

  1. Physical contact with an infected person:
    • Touch (staphylococcus)
    • Sexual Intercourse (chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV)
    • Fecal/Oral transmission (hepatitis A)
    • or Droplets (influenza, coronavirus)
  2. Contact with a contaminated:
    • Surface or object (norovirus)
    • Food (salmonella, E. coli)
    • Blood (HIV, hepatitis B)
    • or Water (cholera)
  3. Bites from insects or animals capable of transmitting the disease
    • Mosquito (malaria, yellow fever)
    • Animals: (rabies, Ebola)
  4. Travel through the air (tuberculosis, whooping cough, and measles)

Protect Yourself

  1. Handle and prepare food safely. Wash hands, utensils and surfaces when preparing food. Don’t leave food out; refrigerate promptly.
  2. Wash hands often
  3. Clean and disinfect surfaces. Cleaning with soap and water is usually enough, unless someone in the house is ill. Use a EPA certified disinfectant, dilute bleach solution or rubbing alcohol.
  4. Cough and sneeze into your sleeve.
  5. Don’t share personal items that can’t be disinfected, like toothbrush, razors, or needles. Needles should be thrown away properly after one use.
  6. Get vaccinated, vaccines prevent many infections diseases.
  7. Avoid touching stray or wild animals.
  8. Stay home when you are sick.


NC Communicable Disease Branch

NC Reportable Diseases

NC Rabies Manual

NC Tuberculosis Manual

NC State Lab

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC Zika virus guidance

Food Safety