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One of the primary functions of public health is to monitor the spread of disease and intervene to eliminate the risk of transmission to the public through routine surveillance and working closely with state and other local health officials. On this page you will find information about current and emerging public health threats. Click below for information about communicable diseases.


Cook County Department of Public Health has been working around the clock with public health and emergency management counterparts at all levels of government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic since the first COVID-19 case was identified on Jan. 24 in a Chicago area resident. This has included case investigations, contact tracing and monitoring; disease surveillance and control; and providing situational updates and guidance to the public, media and partners.


Flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory virus that affects the respiratory system and spreads easily from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing. It can cause mild to severe illness, and even death in some cases.

Marijuana & Health

Curious about the new law effective January 1, 2020? We have the facts you need to understand the rules, so you can make safe and informed choices. Find out about the health effects, where you can use, and other tips from the Illinois Department of Human Services.


Opioids are a family of drugs related to opium, including heroin, fentanyl, morphine, codeine, and others. While heroin is illegal, other opioids are legal and available by prescription, usually for the treatment of pain. Opioids are effective and safe when taken in the appropriate doses and for short periods of time. However, they may produce a feeling of euphoria and can be misused for this purpose.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

STDs, also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs, refer to many different infections including gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, syphilis, herpes, HPV (warts), Hepatitis, trichomoniasis and more. STDs are very common. People of all ages and backgrounds can get an STD. There are 20 million new STD cases in the U.S. every year. Half of these are between 15 and 24 years old.

Updated February 6, 2023, 11:06 AM