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Communicable Disease

Rabies is a vaccine preventable disease. North Carolina law requires owners of dogs, cats and ferrets to have their pets currently vaccinated against rabies, beginning at four months of age. line

Communicable Disease Control

We work to protect the health of the public by providing investigation, surveillance, and prevention activities to control communicable diseases.

The health department tracks communicable diseases to ensure the safety of the community by seeking to prevent disease outbreaks. Disease prevention and control is a cooperative effort involving health care providers, local and state health department personnel, and members of the community.

Diseases that the health department tracks are call "reportable." All physicians, health care providers, and laboratory personnel are required by law to submit reportable disease information to the health department.

Procedures & Reporting for Health Care Providers
(828) 694-6019 | FAX (828) 697-4504

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HIV Counseling

We offer free and confidential counseling and testing services for HIV. Patients may call (828) 694-6019 for an appointment.

Sexually Transmitted Disease

The health department identifies, treats, and reports sexually transmitted diseases. Services are confidential. Call (828) 692-4223 to make an appointment.

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Tuberculosis (TB)

We offer TB skin tests through the immunization clinic. Cost is $12 for routine tests required for employment, but there is no charge if the client is symptomatic for TB or has been determined to be a contact with someone with active TB. For a client with a positive skin test, a Communicable Disease Nurse will offer counseling, chest X-rays, medical referrals, contact tracing and testing, and provide medication. Tuberculosis Control Services are provided at no cost to the client.

Tuberculosis skin tests
The tests are administered on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. The client is required to return to the Immunization Clinic 72 hours after the skin test is placed to be evaluated by a nurse. Tuberculosis skin tests are most accurate at 72 hours after administration. Please note: We cannot give you a live vaccine within 28 days of a TB test unless they were given on the same day.

Additional information about tuberculosis is available from the CDC and the state's website. The North Carolina Tuberculosis Control Program's Policy Manual is available on the web for review for health care professionals and the general public.

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Mosquito-Borne Illnesses (Arboviruses)

Arboviruses are viruses that are transmitted by the bite of an infected arthropod, usually a mosquito. They can lead to serious illnesses in people. Arboviruses are also known as vector-borne diseases.

Don't Let Mosquitoes Bug You!

Three main arboviruses are transmitted to both people and animals by various types of mosquitoes in North Carolina:

  • West Nile virus (WNV)
  • Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE)
  • La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). La Cross is the most common arbovirus (mosquito-borne virus) in North Carolina, occurring mostly in the western part of the state. There is no vaccine against LACV. Reducing exposure to mosquito bites is the best defense against getting infected with LACV or other mosquito-borne viruses.

Other arboviruses

  • Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain.
  • Zika Virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

For more information about Zika, click here.

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If your pet bites someone, do you know what to do?
Take responsibility for its actions by following these guidelines. If you think your pet was exposed to rabies or have questions, call the Henderson County Sheriff Office's Animal Enforcement Division at 697-4911.

Rabies is a vaccine preventable disease in humans, dogs, cats and ferrets as well as some domestic livestock. All mammals are susceptible to rabies and it is nearly always fatal. Rabies can be prevented in humans with timely and appropriate treatment. The disease most often occurs in wild animals especially skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes. Raccoon rabies is present in the raccoon population in virtually every North Carolina county.

If you think your pet was exposed or have questions, call the Henderson County Sheriff Office's Animal Enforcement Division at 697-4911.

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Ticks are small, bloodsucking arthropods that can transmit diseases to humans and animals. Most of the tick-borne diseases in North Carolina are from a bacterial infection and can cause flu-like symptoms in people. They can be treated with antibiotics if caught early. Untreated, they may lead to serious health problems, including death in rare cases. Several illnesses transmitted by ticks are found in North Carolina.

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Department of Public Health • 1200 Spartanburg Highway, Suite 100 • Hendersonville, NC 28792 • (828) 692-4223

Last updated February 16, 2018