Communicable Disease


A multi-state outbreak started in December 2014, after many people were exposed at Disneyland Parks in California. There are also cases in Northern Illinois and Minnesota right now. 

Any student in the Portage Community School District programs who is not fully vaccinated with MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine will be sent a notice in (English or Spanish) about the measles outbreak and vaccination recommendations, at the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Immunization Program Director.  

Children 12 months and older, should have 2 doses of MMR. The first dose being given at 12 months -15 months of age and again at 4 years - 6 years of age. The second dose may be obtained as early as 28 days after the first dose of MMR.

If you need a second dose of MMR, you may get that at your provider's office, a pharmacy, or the local health department (if eligible to get Vaccine For Children funded vaccines).

Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness.  

The Measles Fact Sheet is found her in English, here in Spanish, and here in Hmong.

Enterovirus D68

The following information is being provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

“Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States for the last 40 years.
EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.”
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, furniture surfaces, and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick
  • Cover coughs
  • If a child is having breathing difficulties associated with cold symptoms, call the parent immediately for further evaluation
  • Monitor attendance and illness patterns and report changes to your local health department
Communicable Disease
Wisconsin Communicable Disease Chart

Bacterial Meningitis:  Ways to Protect Yourself

Feberuary 9, 2015

Dear Parent or Guardian,

As the District Nurse, I am writing to inform you about the dangers of meningococcal disease, commonly known as bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal disease is a rare but potentially fatal bacterial infection that can cause severe swelling of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or a serious blood infection (meningococcemia).  Meningococcal disease strikes up to 3,000 Americans each year; nearly 30 percent of these cases are among teenagers and college students.

A meningococcal vaccine is available for use among persons aged 11 to 55 years, which provides protection against four of the five types of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease.  Many parents are unaware of the dangers the disease poses to their children and that a vaccine is available that may help to prevent up to 83 percent of cases among teens and college students. Immunization is the most effective way to prevent this very serious disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading medical organizations recommend that all 11-12 year olds should be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4). A booster shot is recommended for teens at age 16 to continue providing protection when their risk for meningococcal disease is highest. Teens who received MCV4 for the first time at age 13-15 years will need a one-time booster dose at age 16 through 18 years of age.  If a teenager missed getting the vaccine altogether, they should ask their doctor about getting it now, especially if they are about to move into a college dorm or military barracks.

About Meningococcal Disease:

Meningococcal disease is often misdiagnosed as something less serious because early symptoms are similar to common viral illnesses.  Symptoms of meningococcal disease may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, exhaustion and/or a rash.

Meningococcal disease is spread through direct contact with respiratory and/or oral secretions from infected persons (for example, kissing or sharing drinking containers).  It can develop and spread quickly throughout the body, so early diagnosis and treatment are very important.  Even with immediate treatment, the disease can kill an otherwise healthy young person within hours of first symptoms.  Of those who survive, up to 20 percent may endure permanent disabilities, including brain damage, deafness and limb amputations.

Lifestyle factors common among teenagers and college students are believed to put them at increased risk of contracting meningococcal diseaseThese lifestyle factors include crowded living situations (for example, dormitories, and sleep-away camps), active or passive smoking and irregular sleeping habitsTeens should avoid sharing eating utensils and drinking out of the same container, since infections may spread through this type of close contact.

To learn more about meningococcal disease, vaccine information, and public health resources visit the following web sites.

·         Meningitis Foundation of America

·         National Meningitis Association

·         This CDC website includes the CDC recommendations and information on the meningococcal vaccine 

           and detailed information on disease 

·          A list of local Wisconsin public health departments and contact information.    

·         Columbia County Health & Human Services department 

·         Portage Community School District “Communicable Disease” Nursing Services Page

·         American Academy of Family Physicians, http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1215/p1491.html   www.aafp.org

·         American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org


Valerie Hon, BS, RN, NCSN

District Nurse

608/742-4867, extension 4131




Meningitis Fact Sheet
This is an information sheet from Wisconsin Department of Health Services
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