What is an Infectious Disease?

Infectious diseases include the flu, measles, HIV, Lyme, COVID-19, salmonella, and many more. They are caused when harmful germs enter the body from bug bites (such as mosquito or tick bites), from other people, or from contaminated food, water, or soil.

View a list of Reportable Diseases in Massachusetts. For more information, you may also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you think you have an infectious disease and need assistance, our public health nurses are here to help by offering guidance. Please leave a voicemail at 617-665-3826 and a nurse will return your call during the business hours listed below. If you have immediate concerns, please contact your primary care provider.

To report a suspected or diagnosed infectious disease:

  • Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m: Call the Cambridge Public Health Department, 617-665-3826.
  • After hours & holidays: Call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 617-983-6800.

To report suspected food causing you to be ill, please complete this Foodborne Illness Complaint Form.


Updated: July 22, 2022