Skip to main content

Communicable Disease Prevention

Communicable diseases spread from one person to another or from an animal to a person. The spread often happens via airborne viruses or bacteria, but also through blood or other bodily fluid. The terms infectious and contagious are also used to describe communicable disease. Transmission of bacteria, viruses, etc. can occur in a variety of ways, including direct physical contact with an infectious person, consuming contaminated foods or beverages, contact with contaminated body fluids, contact with contaminated inanimate objects, airborne (inhalation), or being bitten by an infected insect or tick.

Public Health & Environmental Safety (PHES) staff work with Campus Facilities to train employees and identify the right disinfectants; work closely with the County Health Department and provide reliable information about communicable diseases through Inside MC. We also manage the biological/ infectious materials disposal program to ensure that all biological wastes and sharps from laboratories are incinerated through a bio-waste disposal contractor.

The PHES office’s Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) program has been training campus facilities, child care and security staff, in compliance with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Rule. Employees who are likely to come into contact with blood or other body fluids during the course of their duties are taught how to protect themselves and prevent the spread of infections. For more information, please visit Bloodborne Pathogens web page.

For several years now, Campus Facilities departments have emphasized the purchase and use of EPA registered disinfectants for cleaning and disinfecting at all three campuses. These cleaning products will say on their labels: "EPA Registered Disinfectant" and list a number of common pathogens.

What can I do to protect myself from communicable diseases?

We can all take some precautions in our own sphere of influence, to prevent the spread of any disease. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Good personal hygiene and a healthy lifestyle are the best way to fight common infections and keep ourselves disease free.

On MC campuses, Building Services staff keep our buildings clean and disease free. However, there are a few areas that they are not responsible for cleaning. These are: work desks, or any areas that have documents and computers on them, fitness equipment like weights, mats, etc. For the latter, wipes are provided for users to clean the equipment before, and after use. Offices need to keep general cleaning supplies for their staff and faculty to use for regularly wiping down their work desk, computer keyboard, mouse and chair.

If there is a problem with cleaning, or pests, report it right away to the Facilities Service Desk at your campus. Limit the amount of food in your office and keep it in metal (not plastic) containers; this minimizes the risk of pests like mice and rats.

If you are at an off-campus location, service requests for leased property should be directed to the landlord’s property management team. Commercial leases generally only cover emergency and major repairs to the structure, therefore minor services such as locksmith or plumbing are often the responsibility of the tenant and paid from the unit’s operating budget. Public Safety Offices and maintenance staff cannot perform services for leased sites. Please contact Central Facilities at (240) 267-5371 for lease details or questions.

Communicable Disease Subjects:

More Information

For additional information about Communicable Disease Prevention, please send an email to Public Health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC: Diseases & Conditionsnew window
OSHA: Infectious Diseasesnew window
CDC: Stop the Spread of Germs (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)
CDC: Detenga la Propagación de los Microbios (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)