Communicable Disease

Green County Public Health's Role

- Detect and report cases of significant infectious disease.
- Investigate the circumstances of each case.
- Provide pertinent information to families and communities.
- Recommend and implement measures to control the spread of disease.

What are "communicable diseases"?

Disease causing biologic agents include viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. Transmission of these biologic agents can occur in a variety of ways, including direct physical contact with an infectious person, consuming contaminated foods or beverages, contact with contaminated body fluids, contact with contaminated inanimate objects, airborne (inhalation), or being bitten by an infected insect or tick. 

Learn more about communicable diseases on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website

Mpox (formerly Monkeypox)

Mpox is a rare but potentially serious disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is from the same family of viruses as smallpox but is less severe and less transmissible than smallpox. Monkeypox can spread from infected humans, animals, and materials that are contaminated with the virus. Monkeypox is typically characterized by a new pimple or blister-like rash. Other early symptoms include:
- Fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches
- Headache 
There is a vaccine available to help prevent Mpox. To learn more about eligibility requirements for the vaccine or to learn more about Mpox, visit the CDC website

For assistance locating the vaccine or to ask additional questions, contact Green County Public Health at (608) 328-9390.

Types of Communicable Diseases

There are many communicable diseases, below are a few examples:
  • Arboviral Illness, Dengue
  • Salmonella
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis B Hepatitis C, Chronic Hepatitis C
  • Lyme Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Infant Botulism
  • Chickenpox
  • Gonorrhea
  • E-Coli
  • Giardiasis
  • Cyclosporiasis
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Chlamydia
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Blastomycosis


What is rabies?
Rabies is a disease that affects the brain. It´s usually passed from animal to animal but it can be passed from animals to people. In the United States, raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats are the main animals that get rabies. Please read the Rabies Fact Sheet.

How do you know if an animal has rabies?
You can´t tell if an animal has rabies by just looking at it. A clue though is if the animal is acting strangely.

What should I do if I get bitten by an animal?
You should immediately wash the animal bite or scratch with liberal amounts of soap and water. Contact your health care provider immediately. Rabies is deadly, so all bites and scratches from a suspect animal must be reported to local authorities.
Bat bites are often undetectable on people. If you find a dead bat in your house, you should contact the Health Department at 608-329-9390.

West Nile Virus

What is West Nile Virus (WNV)?
The West Nile virus is a virus transmitted to humans by mosquito bites.

What are the symptoms of WNV?
The West Nile virus produces symptoms in people ranging from mild to severe. Approximately 80% of people infected with West Nile virus do not become ill. Please read the West Nile Virus Fact Sheet. Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of the West Nile virus infection, especially if you may have had contact with mosquitos. If you are severely ill, go to the emergency room.

What has WNV got to do with birds?
In nature, mosquitoes become infected with WNV by feeding on infected birds and can transmit the virus to other animals, birds, and humans.

Dead Bird Reporting
As of January 2020, the Division of Public Health no longer collects dead birds for West Nile virus testing. Due to this change, the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline (800-433-1610) has been disconnected.

What should I do if I find a dead bird?
Please refer to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Health Program for instructions on what to do if you find a dead bird. If you are told to dispose of the bird’s carcass, don’t handle it with your bare hands. Use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the carcass in a garbage bag, which can then be placed in your regular trash.