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Division of Public Health, Bureau of Communicable Diseases (BCD)

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Bureau of Communicable Diseases is responsible for surveillance, control, and prevention of more than 70 reportable communicable diseases. In addition, BCD staff routinely provides education, outreach and assistance to local health departments, health care providers, and citizens. BCD also maintains the statewide electronic surveillance system and ensures national reporting of cases. BCD works closely with numerous state partners to meet their objectives. These partners include the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources, Public Instruction, Children and Families, and Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. BCD routinely collaborates with federal agencies, community organizations and academic institutions.

Student opportunities may include but are not limited to:

  • Analyzing and summarizing disease specific testing or surveillance data
  • Evaluating and reporting on a prevention or care policy issues
  • Developing new or updating disease protocols
  • Developing new or updating communication resources (websites, fact sheets, social media posts, presentations)
  • Writing a manuscript or summary document for publication or external communication

BCD is comprised of three sections responsible for communicable disease surveillance and prevention programs:

The Communicable Diseases Epidemiology Section is responsible for maintaining and improving the surveillance system for communicable diseases. The section has specific responsibility for the epidemiologic investigation and response to tuberculosis, food/water/vector borne diseases, zoonotic diseases, healthcare associated infection prevention, respiratory and mycotic diseases, and suspected communicable disease outbreaks, as well as emerging diseases. It also provides infection control consultation to health care providers and technical assistance on health risks and health care needs of refugees and other populations arriving in the U.S.

The Communicable Diseases Harm Reduction Section coordinates the state’s public health response to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI’s). This includes providing surveillance and epidemiologic investigation, HIV/HCV/STI testing and referral, partner services, education and harm reduction activities, HIV case management and Ryan White funded care services, and AIDS drug assistance including health insurance premium subsidy programs.

The Immunization Section is responsible for preventing those communicable diseases for which immunizations are available. The program provides vaccines and technical assistance to health care providers, conducts surveillance and investigation of vaccine preventable diseases, operates the Wisconsin Immunization Registry designed to keep track of immunization histories for Wisconsin citizens, and conducts educational activities to encourage prompt and complete immunization. The section implements the state law that requires certain immunizations for children entering day care centers and schools. It is also responsible for Wisconsin's use of the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile and conduct of mass immunization/prophylaxis in the event of an emergency.

Wisconsin Communicable Diseases 2017 Annual Report

Disease cases included in this report occurred during January 1–December 31, 2017.
Included in this report are disease summaries, trends, as well as outbreak highlights from 2017.

We hope this report can serve as a helpful resource when evaluating the burden of communicable diseases in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Communicable Diseases 2016 Annual Report


2017 Communicable Disease Report

Bureau of Communicable Diseases Update Webinar Series Archive

The archived communicable disease webinars have moved! Please visit the new Communicable Disease Webinar Archives webpage for a listing of previous webinars organized alphabetically by topic.

The Bureau maintains a close working relationship with local health departments, tribes, health care providers, a wide variety of community-based direct service agencies, as well as with other state and federal agencies, including Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Agriculture, US Food and Drug Administration, and the US Health Resources and Service Administration.

Last revised May 11, 2023