Communicable—or infectious—diseases are those spread through people, animals, surfaces, foods, or air. They are the leading cause of sickness and death worldwide. While some communicable diseases require an exchange of blood to infect another person, a simple uncovered sneeze is all it takes for other infections to take hold.


We work to prevent the spread of disease in our counties by:

  • We provide you with information on how diseases are spread to enable you to keep yourself and others healthy.
  • We promote and provide immunizations.
  • We partner and plan with local health care providers, the Washington State Department of Health, and the other agencies so we can work seamlessly if an infectious disease emergency occurs.
  • We investigate outbreaks of communicable disease, contact people who may have been exposed and organize appropriate treatment, and give timely information about the threat to the community, so you can protect yourself and your family.
  • We track local reports of more than 60 reportable diseases and conditions to help state and federal agencies monitor trends, allocate resources, and learn more about how to fight or eliminate these dangerous illnesses.