Communicable Disease

Screening, monitoring, and treatment for certain communicable diseases are provided at Wilkes County Health Department. A communicable disease is a disease that can be transferred from an infected person to another individual. Contacts of those with these diseases may be monitored or treated. Coordination with health care providers and public education is provided to prevent further spread.

Tuberculosis (TB)

TB is one of the communicable diseases that we screen, monitor and provide treatment for at Wilkes County Health Department. TB is airborne and spread through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs.

Symptoms:

  • Productive cough longer than 3 weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss, loss of appetite
  • Fever

Diagnosis:

  • Skin test
  • Chest x-ray
  • Physical exam
  • Sputum for smear, culture and sensitivity

How to Prevent and Control Communicable Disease

Vaccines: Make sure that you and your child have had all of the recommended immunizations.

Click here for recommended infant/child immunizations
Click here for recommeded adult immunizations

Hand Washing: Hand Washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection. When washing your hands, make sure you wash the right way.

When washing your hands with soap and water:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
  • Rub your hands together ro make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue rubbing hand for 15-20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” twice through to a friend.
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
  • Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. Alcohol based hand significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.

When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

  • Apply product to the palm of one hand
  • Rub hands together
  • Rub the product over all survaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.