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Protect the Population from Communicable Diseases

Protecting the population from communicable disease is one of seven priority areas from Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan. Progress is updated annually. Get the 2017 Progress Report for this priority or view current data highlights below.

Key Strategies

Population interventions

  • Reduce infections caused by pathogens commonly transmitted through food
  • Reduce spread of emerging pathogens
  • Reduce non-judicious antibiotic prescribing
  • Reduce and control the spread of Tuberculosis
  • Identify people living with HIV who have not been receiving HIV-proficient care, and support engagement in care

Health equity interventions

  • Reduce new hepatitis C infections among African Americans, American Indians and other disproportionately affected groups
  • Reduce norovirus infections in long-term care facilities
  • Promote routine syphilis screening for men who have sex with men
  • Improve capacity to perform interviews for foodborne outbreaks with non-English Speakers
  • Reduce hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in healthcare settings serving populations with limited access to care
  • Collaborate with Tribal partners to promote communicable disease investigation and reporting to protect the health of American Indian/Alaska Natives
  • Understand HIV prevalence, risk and protective behaviors, and impact of stigma and resilience among African-American and Hispanic/Latino-identified individuals at elevated risk for HIV, including men who have sex with men.
  • Improve collection of race and ethnicity data for foodborne illness cases

Health system interventions

  • Create incentives for private and public health plans and health care providers to prevent communicable diseases
  • Promote annual chlamydia screening of women aged 15 to 24 by health care providers
  • Promote use of expedited partner therapies by health care providers and local health departments
  • Improve hospital capacity to detect and prevent health care-associated infections

Communicable diseases continue to affect the health of individuals and communities throughout Oregon.

Focusing on protecting the population from foodborne illness, healthcare-associated infections, sexually transmitted infections and hepatitis C.

  • Foodborne illness affects 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) each year. Of these, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 will die. The annual economic burden of foodborne illness is $77.7 billion in the United States.
  • Healthcare-associated infections in hospital patients can result in the need for additional treatment, more days in the hospital, stronger or more antibiotics, and higher costs to patients and the health care system. Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of health care-associated infection, and it is spreading into community settings. CDI causes half a million infections and 14,000 deaths annually, and adds more than $1 billion in health care costs in the United States.
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a significant health problem in the U.S., with nearly 20 million new cases every year. STIs pose a threat to immediate and long-term health and well-being. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV infection, STIs can lead to severe reproductive health complications. STIs lead to nearly $16 billion in annual health care costs.
  • Of every 100 people infected with hepatitis C, about 75 to 85 will become chronically infected. This can lead to serious health problems such as liver disease, liver failure and liver cancer.

Priority Targets - Highlights

Chart showing the rate of syphilis infections is increasing 

Syphilis incidence. This chart shows the rate of syphilis infections is increasing.
Syphilis incidence (rate per 100,000)
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate 10.4 14.1 14.6 13.5
2020 Target 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1

Data source: Orpheus

Chart showing the rate of gonorrhea infections is increasing 

Gonorrhea incidence. This chart shows the rate of gonorrhea infections is increasing.
Gonorrhea incidence (rate per 100,000)
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate 57.9 80.7 106.3 121.3
2020 Target 72 72 72 72 72

Data source: Orpheus

Chart showing viral suppression among people with HIV is increasing 

HIV viral suppression. This chart shows viral suppression among people with HIV is increasing.
HIV viral suppression (percentage of people with HIV with supressed viral load)
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Percentage 71% 74% 76% 75%
2020 Target 90% 90% 90% 90% 90%

Data source: Orpheus

Chart showing the rate of new HIV infections is decreasing 

HIV indicence. This chart shows the rate of new HIV infections is decreasing.
HIV incidence (rate per 100,000)
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate 6.6 6.4 6.2 6.9 5.8 6.0 5.3 5.4 4.8
2020 Target 4.5 4.5 4.5  4.5 4.5 

Data source: Orpheus

Chart showing the rate of tuberculosis is decreasing 

Tuberculosis incidence. This chart shows the rate of tuberculosis is decreasing.
Tuberculosis incidence (rate per 100,000)
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate 1.9 1.9 1.7 1.7
2020 Target 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4

Data source: Orpheus

Chart showing the rate of e-coli is holding steady 

E. coli infection. This chart shows the rate of e-coli is holding steady.
E. coli infection (rate of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia O157 per 100,000)
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.1
2020 Target 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6

Data source: National Healthcare Safety Network

Chart showing C. difficile infections are increasing. 

C-difficile infections. This chart shows C. difficile infections are increasing.
C. difficile infections (SIR)
Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Standardized Infection Ration 0.68 0.76 0.73 0.88 0.94 0.83
2020 Target 0.57 0.57 0.57 0.57 0.57

Data source: Orpheus

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