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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


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

Rate of syphilis infections 

This chart shows the rate of syphilis infections is increasing.

Rate of syphilis infections
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate 10.4  14.1  14.6       
2020 Target    11.1 11.1  11.1   11.1 11.1 

Data source: Orpheus

Rate of gonorrhea infections 

This chart shows the rate of gonorrhea infections is increasing.

Rate of Gonorrhea infections
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate  57.9 80.7  106.3      
2020 Target    72 72  72  72  72 

Data source: Orpheus

HIV Viral suppression Rate 

This chart shows viral suppression among people with HIV is increasing.

Viral suppression among PLWH
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Percentage  71%  74% 76%     
2020 Target    90% 90%   90% 90%  90%

Data source: Orpheus

This chart shows 

This chart shows the rate of new HIV infections is decreasing.

Rate of HIV infections 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    
2020 Target        4.5 4.5 4.5  4.5 4.5 

Data source: Orpheus

Tuberculosis incidence 

This chart shows the rate of tuberculosis is decreasing.

TB incidence
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate  1.9 1.9  1.7       
2020 Target    1.4 1.4  1.4  1.4   1.4

Data source: Orpheus

E-coli infection 

This chart shows the rate of e-coli is holding steady.

Rate of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia O157
Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate  2.3 2.4  2.3     
2020 Target  0.6 0.6  0.6  0.6  0.6 

Data source: National Healthcare Safety Network

C-difficile infections 

This chart shows C-difficile infections are increasing.

C-difficile infections
Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Standardized Infection Ration 0.73   0.76  0.73 0.88  0.85   
2020 Target        0.57 0.57  0.57  0.57 0.57

Data source: Orpheus

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