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Communicable & Infectious Disease

August 2020 - Back-to-School Vaccinations

  • Get ready for school by making sure that your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines. Ask your provider about the Vaccines for Children Program if you feel you may not be able to afford vaccines.
  • Most school-aged children should get a flu vaccine every year, which is especially important this year to reduce the burden of the flu at a time when COVID-19 might also be circulating.
  • COVID-19 might disrupt your local health department’s capacity to administer back-to-school vaccinations. Consider reaching out to your health department or health care provider early to ensure children have all required vaccinations prior to the start of school.

December 2019 - Practicing Food Safety this Holiday Season

November 2019 - Hunting: Game Meat Storage and Preparation

  • Keep game meat refrigerated or frozen when in storage to a maximum of 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook meat to a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Separate cooked meat from raw meat when in storage to prevent cross-contamination from harmful bacteria.

Additionally, chronic wasting disease (CWD) has never transferred to humans.  It is out of an abundance of caution, that the CDC and Montana DPHHS do not recommend consuming meat from an animal that has tested positive for CWD. For more information see

July 2019 -  Focus on Vector-Borne Disease

July 2019 - Focus on Rabies

April 2019 - Gonorrhea in Montana

  • Gonorrhea cases in Montana have increased more than 10 fold since 2012, however, Montana’s 2018 rate of 112 cases per 100,000 was lower than the most recent national average of 171.9/100,000.
  • Gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to many antibiotics, making it important to treat all patients per the CDC STD treatment guidelines.
  • Some men and most women have no symptoms, placing them at risk of unknowingly spreading the infection and for serious and permanent health problems. To find free or low-cost testing, visit for a location near you.

March 2019 - Shingles Vaccine

  • Approximately 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime, a painful rash caused by the same virus as chickenpox.
  • While shingles cannot be transmitted from person-to-person, the virus can spread from a person with active shingles and cause chickenpox in someone who had never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.
  • An improved vaccine recommended for individuals 50 and older, provides strong protection against shingles with 2 doses, check with your provider or pharmacist for availability and scheduling your vaccine.

March 2019 - Measles

  • Measles is a highly contagious disease that is quickly spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes.
  • Know your immunity status which may include: written documentation of adequate vaccination, laboratory evidence of immunity, birth before 1957, or laboratory confirmation of disease. If not immune, get vaccinated!
  • If you think you have been exposed to measles, avoid public places and call your healthcare provider or facility BEFORE going directly to a healthcare facility to be evaluated. The facility may provide special instructions to you to avoid exposing others.