Communicable Disease

Preventing and reducing the spread of infectious or communicable disease among humans is an essential function of public health. The Okanogan County Public Health District (OCPHD) provides community-wide disease surveillance, tracking, investigation, and control of disease outbreaks; and provides information and education about disease prevention.
Notifiable Condition
In Washington State, health care providers, health care facilities, laboratories, veterinarians, food service establishments, child day care facilities, and schools are legally required to notify public health authorities at their local health jurisdiction of suspected or confirmed cases of selected diseases or conditions that have been identified as a "notifiable condition". 
Preventing Colds, Flu, and other Infectious Diseases
The Okanogan County Public Health District (OCPHD) encourages individuals of the simple steps everyone can take to effectively reduce the spread of cold, flu, pertussis (whooping cough), tuberculosis and other respiratory disease.

When and How to Wash Your Hands
Hand washing can help prevent many types of disease. For best results, follow these steps:
  • Wet hands with water
  • Use lots of soap and rub hands together to build up a good lather
  • Wash between fingers, the backs of hands, thumbs, palms and wrists
  • Pay careful attention to fingernails. Use a fingernail brush, if available
  • Wash for 15-20 seconds
  • Rinse well while rubbing hands together
  • Dry thoroughly with a paper towel or clean towel
For information about a few common communicable diseases and the vaccine to help protect against them, visit these links:
Animal & Insect Related Diseases and Conditions
Preventing the spread of disease from animals to humans is an Environmental Health responsibility. Environmental Health Specialists working together with Community Health personnel:
  • Communicate with available animal control agencies regarding animal bites to local residents. If rabies is suspected to likely, the Okanogan County Public Health District (OCPHD) will reach out to the person who was bitten by a dog, cat, bat, ferret and wild animal, their healthcare provider and other necessary professionals to determine risk of rabies infection. If treatment is warranted and administered by a healthcare provider, progress is monitored by the OCPHD.
  • Monitor illnesses contracted from ticks, mosquitoes and mice throughout Okanogan County such as Hantavirus or "HPS" from deer mice.
  • Conduct surveillance for emerging animal and insect-carried disease such as West Nile virus.
Go to the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH) Animal Transmitted Diseases webpage for a list of commonly known diseases communicable from animals to humans. 

OCPHD at 1234 South 2nd Avenue, Okanogan, WA  98840  (509) 422-7140