Infectious Disease measures the combined incidence of measles, pertussis, Hepatitis A and syphilis per 100,000 population. Two-year averages are used to calculate the incidence rates. This definition was changed in 2011 from the previous editions, where infectious disease was defined as the combined incidence of AIDS, TB, and hepatitis A and B, and three-year averages were used. The ranks are based on data from two and three years prior from the CDC’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Reports.
In the early 1900s, the field of public health was focused on combating infectious diseases caused by poor sanitation and poor hygiene. Many great achievements were made in this area through vaccinations, antibiotics, and education. It has only been since the mid-1900s that the field of public health shifted its focus from infectious diseases like cholera and smallpox to chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. Despite the current focus on chronic diseases, infectious diseases still pose a threat and are responsible for a significant burden on our nation’s health. The incidence of these infectious diseases is an indication of the toll that largely preventable diseases are placing on the population. Infectious diseases pose a threat to all members of a population, but can be especially severe in young children and the elderly, leading to hospitalizations or even death.
The 4 diseases included in this measure were chosen partially because they represent different transmission mechanisms and therefore different prevention and treatment options. Measles and pertussis are both airborne, hepatitis A is generally spread through food, and syphilis is sexually transmitted. Transmission of measles, pertussis and hepatitis A can be reduced through vaccinations. The incidence of these diseases provides information not only about the immunization rate in a community but also information about the ability of a system to prevent, detect, and control outbreaks. Proper handwashing is a simple yet effective way to prevent many infectious diseases including hepatitis A, measles, and pertussis. Safe cooking practices can prevent most, if not all, foodborne infection including hepatitis A. Condom usage and other safe sex practices can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. A high incidence of infectious disease may be indicative of a need for greater investment in public health prevention measures. Immunizations and early interventions have proven effective in keeping infectious disease rates at a minimum.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Achievements in public health, 1900-1999: Changes in the public health system. MMWR - Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. December 24, 1999;48(50):1141-7. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4850a1.htm. Accessed September 24, 2012.
 Armstrong GL. Trends in infectious disease mortality in the United States during the 20th century. JAMA. 1999;281(1):61.
The measures tracked by America's Health Rankings are those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For a state to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on these measures, these determinants of health.
|1990 - South Carolina||33||36.7||View Actions|
|1991 - South Carolina||31||37.9||View Actions|
|1992 - South Carolina||31||41.0||View Actions|
|1993 - South Carolina||30||42.3||View Actions|
|1994 - South Carolina||26||35.0||View Actions|
|1995 - South Carolina||23||39.5||View Actions|
|1996 - South Carolina||26||43.2||View Actions|
|1997 - South Carolina||28||39.8||View Actions|
|1998 - South Carolina||26||36.4||View Actions|
|1998 - South Carolina||25||15.6||View Actions|
|1999 - South Carolina||21||13.8||View Actions|
|1999 - South Carolina||27||33.0||View Actions|
|2000 - South Carolina||32||32.8||View Actions|
|2000 - South Carolina||23||11.5||View Actions|
|2001 - South Carolina||22||9.0||View Actions|
|2001 - South Carolina||35||30.0||View Actions|
|2002 - South Carolina||38||30.9||View Actions|
|2002 - South Carolina||26||9.4||View Actions|
|2003 - South Carolina||32||9.4||View Actions|
|2003 - South Carolina||39||28.8||View Actions|
|2004 - South Carolina||42||29.2||View Actions|
|2004 - South Carolina||29||7.5||View Actions|
|2005 - South Carolina||26||7.5||View Actions|
|2005 - South Carolina||43||29.0||View Actions|
|2006 - South Carolina||43||26.3||View Actions|
|2006 - South Carolina||25||8.7||View Actions|
|2007 - South Carolina||22||10.6||View Actions|
|2007 - South Carolina||42||25.6||View Actions|
|2008 - South Carolina||43||22.8||View Actions|
|2008 - South Carolina||19||9.7||View Actions|
|2009 - South Carolina||10||5.8||View Actions|
|2009 - South Carolina||42||23.4||View Actions|
|2010 - South Carolina||43||20.0||View Actions|
|2010 - South Carolina||12||5.4||View Actions|
|2011 - South Carolina||24||8.0||View Actions|
|2012 - South Carolina||35||11.3||View Actions|