Disease prevention & control

kelly-sikkema-RYABMCLP7aM-unsplashInfectious disease reporting

Physicians, health care facilities, medical laboratories and in certain circumstances, veterinarians and veterinary medical laboratories are required to report disease to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) under Minnesota state law. Call 651-201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414 for more information.

Communicable diseases

Often working in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health, Rice County Public Health conducts or participates in the follow-up of reports of communicable diseases occurring in Rice County.


For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC website or the Minnesota Department of Health website.

Viral respiratory illness data and statistics

The Minnesota Department of Health webpage, Viral respiratory illness in Minnesota data and statistics, shows the combined burden of key respiratory diseases (COVID-19, influenza and RSV). This page is updated Thursdays at 11 a.m.

Pertussis/whooping cough

Pertussis, or whopping cough, is a disease caused by a bacteria that affects the lungs. Pertussis is spread through the air in droplets produced during coughing or sneezing. The best way to prevent pertussis is for all children to be fully vaccinated on time and for adolescents and adults to get a booster shot.

Pertussis incidence is increasing in Minnesota, with outbreaks occurring in a number of communities. For more information about pertussis, and up-to-date statistics for cases in Rice County visit the state's health website or view the Pertussis Fact Sheet (PDF).


For the most up to date information about measles, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are the most frequently reported infectious disease in Rice County and Minnesota. Chlamydia was the number one reported infectious disease in Minnesota in 2017, with the majority of cases in teens and young adults between 15 and 24.

Many STDs have no signs and symptoms, and sometimes the symptoms go away but the STD is still present. Untreated STDs are serious! Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility in men and women, and can be passed from an infected woman to her newborn children, causing premature delivery, infant pneumonia and blindness.

Testing and treatment are Important

Getting tested for STDs at least once each year is important for all sexually active people – even without symptoms. It is important to have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider and ask whether you should be tested for STDs.

Low-cost STD testing is available

Rice County Public Health provides free walk-in STD testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea, in addition to free condoms. For more information, call 507-332-6111 and ask to speak to the family planning nurse.

Minnesota Family Planning and STD hotline 

The Minnesota Family Planning & STD hotline provides reliable, medically accurate and confidential information via phone, text and web chat. The hotline services are sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health and operated by the Family Tree Clinic in St. Paul. Call 1-800-783-2287 or visit its website for more.