Communicable Diseases & Conditions
The Gallatin City-County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Program works to prevent, identify, and limit the spread of those diseases that can be passed from one person to another. Working together with area health care providers, our team investigates and tracks individual cases to prevent them from spreading further. We also aim to determine the source of an infection, identify contacts, and provide education to the general public.
What is a communicable disease?
A communicable disease is defined as an infectious disease that can be transmitted between persons and species through either direct or indirect transmission or other vectors (animals & insects.)
Montana part of multi-state outbreak linked to live poultry
The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) confirmed today that 14 Montanans in 11 counties have been diagnosed this spring with Salmonella after coming in contact with live poultry.
However, this outbreak is not unique to Montana. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 372 people in 47 states have become ill and 71 were hospitalized since the outbreak began earlier this year.
More than one third of the Montana cases were children under 10 years old and three adults were hospitalized for their illness. Those infected are from the counties of Cascade, Gallatin, Glacier, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Mineral, Missoula, Powder River, Ravalli, Roosevelt and Yellowstone.
In Montana, people associated with the outbreak have reported obtaining live baby poultry, e.g., chicks and ducklings, from feed supply stores and relatives.
State health officials say that Salmonella is an organism that healthy poultry can carry without making them ill, but may cause severe diarrhea and abdominal pain to humans which can lead to dehydration. Sometimes people require hospitalization to recover.
The DPHHS and the Department of Livestock (DOL) are asking Montanans to handle poultry responsibly. DOL Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Tahnee Szymanski said, “When caring for backyard flocks, these simple prevention measures will help to keep your families healthy and enjoying the benefits of raising animals.”
- Wash your hands after handling animals
- Avoid touching your mouth after animal contact
- Don’t eat or drink around animals
- Don’t bring poultry into the house
- Supervise small children around animals
- Don’t cuddle or kiss chicksYoung children and persons with weakened immune systems, such as women who are pregnant, the elderly, and those with chronic disease, are at greatest risk for complications from infection.Please visit www.dphhs.mt.gov for guidance and more information.
- “Safe poultry handling is a way to prevent illnesses and keep our children and communities healthy,” Fejes stressed.
- “Raising your own flock can be a rewarding and fun experience, but consider the risk when purchasing poultry,” DPHHS epidemiologist Dana Fejes said.
Some communicable diseases in our community include:
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- West Nile Virus
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Strep Throat
- Food & Waterborne Illnesses
- Tick Born Illnesses
For more information on these and other communicable diseases, see http://www.cdc.gov/.
To see what has been reported this week, check out our weekly reports for Gallatin County.
Click to see the reportable communicable diseases in Montana 1995-2015.
Are you a health care provider needing to report a confirmed or suspect case of a communicable disease? Please call 406-582-3100.
If you need to reach the Gallatin City-County Health Dept after hours to report an urgent public health matter, call the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office at 582-2100, ext. 2