What is an infectious disease?
According to the CDC, infectious diseases are illnesses caused by germs that enter the body, multiply, and can cause an infection. Some of these diseases are contagious (or communicable) meaning they can spread from one person to another.
Infectious diseases can spread in many ways. For example, they can be passed directly from one person to another through contact with blood and bodily fluids, or by breathing in an airborne virus. They can also be passed indirectly from one person to another through objects, or by being bitten by an insect such as a mosquito or tick.
Infectious disease reporting
In Massachusetts, healthcare providers are required under Massachusetts General Law to report certain diseases to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. A list of all Reportable Diseases can be viewed here.
Some of these diseases are then reported to the Local Health Department or Board of Health and require follow-up that helps public health officials understand and prevent the spread of disease. If you are diagnosed with a reportable disease, you may receive a call from a Public Health Nurse, Epidemiologist, or Contact Tracer from the Lowell Health Department.
Infectious disease investigation
How can I verify that the Lowell Health Department is calling?
About your privacy
- Lowell Health Department Public Health Nurses oversee and manage certain infectious disease cases by providing surveillance, case monitoring, and Directly Observed Therapy (DOT).
- Additionally, the Lowell Health Department provides information to residents on the following: