Disease Prevention & Control
Infectious Disease Reporting
Physicians, health care facilities, medical laboratories, and in certain circumstances, veterinarians and veterinary medical laboratories are required to report disease to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) under Minnesota state law. Click here for more information on disease reporting.
Communicable Disease Follow Up
Often working in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health, Rice County Public Health conducts or participates in the follow-up of reports of communicable disease occurring in Rice County.
- Pertussis Update: Pertussis, or whopping cough, is a disease caused by a bacteria that affects the lungs. Pertussis is spread through the air in droplets produced during coughing or sneezing. The best way to prevent pertussis is for all children to be fully vaccinated on time and for adolescents and adults to get a booster shot. Pertussis incidence is increasing in Minnesota, with outbreaks occurring in a number of communities. For more information about pertussis, and up-to-date statistics for cases in Rice County, go to: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/pertussis/index.html
Ebola update: Ebola is a disease caused by a virus and is one of a number of hemorrhagic fever diseases. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. One imported case from Liberia and associated locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have occurred in the United States. There currently are no Ebola cases in Minnesota, and risk remains extremely low. Ebola is spread by direct contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person who currently has symptoms of Ebola or who has recently died from Ebola.
For the most up to date information about Ebola, go to the Minnesota Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/vhf/ or the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.
As part of an ongoing effort to provide Minnesotans with information about Ebola and related precautions against the disease, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has established an Ebola Information Line. The number for the Ebola Information Line is 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.
Immunizations are available for children and adults who are uninsured, on Medical Assistance, or for those who do not have vaccine coverage through their private insurance. These vaccinations are available through the Minnesota Department of Health Vaccines for Children Program and the Minnesota Department of Health Adult Uninsured and Underinsured Vaccine Program. A donation of $15.00 is requested for each immunization given, but no one is refused immunizations due to inability to pay.
Walk-in immunization clinics are offered every Tuesday from 1:00-4:00 pm in Faribault at the Public Health Office: 320 Third Street NW. In order to receive immunizations, children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Flu vaccinations are available through special community immunization clinics or during the walk-in immunization clinic time. Check the Public Health Calendar or call the Public Health Department for information about flu vaccination clinic times, locations, and fees.
Information regarding immunization schedules can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website.
Please Click Here to see how vaccination can help close the door to HPV Cancer.
New childhood immunization requirements begin September 1, 2014 in Minnesota
- These changes to the immunization requirements will help protect children and communities from a number of serious diseases.
- Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are required for children enrolling in child care or early childhood programs.
- Tdap is now required for seventh grade. This vaccine includes protection against pertussis.
- The meningococcal vaccine is also required for secondary students, beginning in seventh grade.
- These new immunization requirements do not change the medical exemption or conscientious exemption.
- Visit http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/immrule/index.html for more information.
Tuberculosis Testing and Treatment
Tuberculosis is caused by TB bacteria, which can reproduce and spread in your body, damaging tissue. The bacteria can attack any part of the body, but most often affect the lungs.
People with active tuberculosis disease usually feel sick and have weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. People with tuberculosis of the lungs usually also have a cough and chest pain and may cough up blood. Symptoms of tuberculosis disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.
People who have tuberculosis in their lungs can spread the bacteria to other people. It usually takes many hours in close contact with someone with tuberculosis disease to become infected.
People with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) have dormant tuberculosis bacteria in their body. They do not feel sick and cannot spread the infection to others. However, people with LTBI need to receive treatment to prevent the disease from becoming active.
Mantoux Testing Available
Rice County Public Health offers tuberculosis skin tests every Tuesday from 1-4 p.m. during the walk-in immunization clinic time. Location: Rice County Public Health Office; 320 NW 3rd St, Faribault. Cost: $20
Free Tuberculosis Medication Program
The Minnesota Department of Health provides free medications for people with TB disease and LTBI. Ask your healthcare provider or call the Public Health Department at 507-332-5942.
Mosquito-Transmitted Disease Prevention
Information regarding West Nile Virus, LaCrosse Encephalitis, and Tick-Borne disease along with the steps that county residents can take to prevent these infections is available through the Public Health Department. The following websites contain information about mosquito-transmitted diseases: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm, www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/mosquitoborne/prevention.html, and www.mmcd.org. In addition, you can find information relating to Tick-Borne disease and how to minimize your risk by visiting http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/tickborne/index.html