Communicable Disease

All local public health agencies are required to track the incidence and distribution of disease in the population and prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases, zoonotic, vector, air-borne, water-borne, and food-borne illnesses, and other diseases that are transmitted person-to-person.

SJBPH serves Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan counties and provides support to the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes. SJBPH works closely with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in communicable disease investigation and control, particularly if the investigation crosses county lines or technical assistance is needed.


Regional Epidemiologist | 970.335.2001

After Hours Reporting | 970.247.5702 option 1

Immunization Appointments | 970.247.5702


The Regional Epidemiologist (EPI) collects and reports disease information according to Colorado Board of Health Rules and Regulations.

  • For information on reported cases such as animal bites, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidiosis, Giardiasis, Hepatitis, Influenza, Meningitis, Pertussis, Salmonellosis, Varicella (chicken pox), and more for your county, see below for the Southwest Colorado Regional EPI Surveillance Report.
  • Research the Disease A-Z list by name and find resources.

We take appropriate measures to prevent disease transmission using methods specific to: infected persons (isolation, treatment, contact tracing/notification); contacts to infected persons (quarantine, prophylaxis); and the environment in which the communicable disease occurs (facility closure, disinfection).

The Regional Epidemiologist (EPI) works with our Environmental Health staff for some water (e.g. swimming pool), food (e.g. point sources such as restaurants), and vector-borne (e.g. insects, rodents carrying plague, rabies or typhoid) communicable disease responses.

  • To report an animal die-off or suspicion or a diseased rodent, please call the EPI at 970.335.2001.

The EPI is a subject matter expert during public health emergencies related to communicable disease, working closely with Emergency Preparedness and Response staff by leading our internal Public Health Incident Management (PHIM) team and participating in the La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan, and Southern Ute (LASST) Healthcare Coalition.

The Regional Epidemiologist (EPI) routinely monitors for West Nile Virus, rabies and plague activity in the region. To help increase the effectiveness of our surveillance efforts, please contact us at 970.335.2001 with any information regarding unusual animal activity or the disappearance of known animal populations.

SJBPH would like to remind residents to be rabies aware, not just for themselves but for their pets as well. Any wild mammal, such as raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat can have rabies and transmit it to people or domesticated animals through a bite. Bats are by far the most common carriers of rabies in Colorado including La Plata and Archuleta counties. Bats should never be in your home; if a bat is present in your home, it should be safely captured and tested for rabies.

Learn more about some of the more common diseases in the Southwest:

The Regional Epidemiologist (EPI) investigates cases of reportable diseases and suspected outbreaks according to standard protocols and guidance provided by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The EPI also leads the Communicable Disease Response Team that provides 24/7 on-call disease reporting. Call 970.335.2001 or for after-hours response, call the SJBPH main number at 970.247.5702 and select option 1.


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