Skip Global navigation and goto content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Skip MegaMenu and goto content

Infectious Diseases

Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County

Physical Address:

Milton Location
5527 Stewart St.
Milton, FL, 32570

8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Click here to view Reportable Diseases Frequency Reports

Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by germs (such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that enter the body, multiply, and cause infection. Some infectious diseases are contagious (or communicable), that is, spread from one person to another. 

Routes of Transmission

An infectious disease is one that can be spread person to person through many transmission routes. The routes of transmission and examples of diseases investigated are listed below (this list is not all inclusive):

  • Airborne or Droplet (a person coughs or sneezes and it is inhaled or introduced to mucous membranes)—Influenza, RSV, Enterovirus, Tuberculosis, Rhinovirus (i.e. common cold), Bacterial Meningitis, Legionella, Varicella (chicken pox), Hand foot and mouth virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
  • Blood Borne (contact with blood to mucous membranes)—Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola.
  • Direct Contact (bodily fluids to mucous membranes)—Rabies, Ebola, common cold, flu, scabies (by rash), herpes, syphilis, chlamydia.
  • Fecal/Oral (fecal contaminated hands to mouth)—Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Vibrio, Ecoli.
  • Fomites (surfaces like doorknobs, countertops)—Norovirus, Common cold (rhinovirus and enteroviruses).
  • Water Borne—(diseases found in water)—Giardia, Cryptosporidiosis, Cyclosporiasis and Vibrio.
  • Vector Borneor Animal Zoonosis (mosquito or animal transmission)—West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Hanta Virus, Rabies, Rat bite fever.

Non-Communicable Diseases 

A non-communicable disease is one that cannot be spread by the patient to another person.  Examples of this type of disease are:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Cancer

Epidemiologists work to understand these diseases and the role that they play in quality of life and behavioral public health.

Infectious Disease Control 

Infectious diseases can be controlled by:

  • Washing hands with soap and water
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes
  • Staying home if you are sick to prevent the spread of disease to others
  • Seeking treatment from a physician