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One of the primary functions of public health is to monitor the spread of disease and intervene to eliminate the risk of transmission to the public through routine surveillance and working closely with state and other local health officials. On this page you will find information about current and emerging public health threats. Click below for information about communicable diseases.


Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition. It affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak.


Flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory virus that affects the respiratory system and spreads easily from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing. It can cause mild to severe illness, and even death in some cases.


Opioids are a family of drugs related to opium, including heroin, fentanyl, morphine, codeine, and others. While heroin is illegal, other opioids are legal and available by prescription, usually for the treatment of pain. Opioids are effective and safe when taken in the appropriate doses and for short periods of time. However, they may produce a feeling of euphoria and can be misused for this purpose.


A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is an infection you can get when you have unprotected sex with a person who has an STI such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), chlamydia, crabs, gonorrhea, herpes, HPV, syphilis and trichomoniasis (trich). People of all ages and all backgrounds can get an STI.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

In mid-March 2018, IDPH began receiving reports of individuals who suffered severe bleeding and reported using synthetic cannabinoid products. Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances (NPS).