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Other Communicable Disease Topics

Whooping Cough - Pertussis  * NEW!

06-05-2014     The Health Department Urges Vaccination to Prevent Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough Fact Sheet - Click Here!

Animal Bites and Rabies

Michigan law requires that animal bites be reported promptly to your Local Health Department for evaluation and follow-up. Rabies is preventable if vaccine is administered soon after exposure, but it is nearly always 100% fatal once symptoms begin.

Rabies is a viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the CDC each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. In Michigan, bats are the most commonly found carriers of the rabies virus.

The rabies virus infects the brain and central nervous system. Early symptoms in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these latter symptoms.

Foodborne Illness

Foodborne Illness in the U.S. is most commonly caused by Norovirus, followed by Salmonella, Clostridium, and Campylobacter. However, more than 250 foodborne illnesses have been identified. Certain food handling and preparation methods are more likely than others to spread disease. Food safety and investigation activities are an integral part of both the Personal Health and Environmental Health Divisions at DHD#10.

HIV, Hepatitis, and STD’s

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is primarily diagnosed based on symptoms, together with a history of known or possible exposure to infected ticks. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause encephalitis and/or meningitis. The virus has been detected in Michigan each year since 2001, primarily infecting and multiplying in birds. It has been found in more than 162 species of birds; however corvids (crows and blue jays) are most commonly affected. When the level of virus circulating among birds and mosquitoes becomes high, humans and other mammals can also become infected, often without causing clinical signs.