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. Call 651-201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414 for more information.
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 diseases occurring in Rice County.
Novel coronavirus (2019 –nCoV)
Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) are monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (“2019-nCoV”) first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of countries, including the United States, where the first 2019-nCoV infection was detected in a traveler returning from Wuhan on Jan. 21, 2020.
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 visit the state's health website or view the Pertussis Fact Sheet (PDF).
For the most up to date information about Measles, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.
For the most up to date information about Ebola, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are the most frequently reported infectious disease in Rice County and Minnesota. Chlamydia was the number one reported infectious disease in Minnesota in 2017, with the majority of cases in teens and young adults between ages 15 and 24.
Many STDs have no signs and symptoms, and sometimes the symptoms go away but the STD is still present. Untreated STDs are serious! Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility in men and women, and can be passed from an infected woman to her newborn children, causing premature delivery, infant pneumonia and blindness.
Testing and treatment are Important
Getting tested for STDs at least once each year is important for all sexually active people – even without symptoms. It is important to have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider and ask whether you should be tested for STDs.
Low-cost STD testing is available
Rice County Public Health provides free walk-in STD testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea, in addition to free condoms. For more information, please call 507-332-6111 and ask to speak to the family planning nurse.
Minnesota Family Planning and STD hotline
The Minnesota Family Planning & STD hotline provides reliable, medically accurate and confidential information via phone, text and web chat. The hotline services are sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health and operated by the Family Tree Clinic in St. Paul. Call 1-800-783-2287 or visit its website for more information.