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Many diseases due to infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, parasites, yeasts) may be transmitted from one person to another, or from an animal, food or environmental source.
The Federal Law on Epidemics entrusts cantonal doctors with the responsibility for combating communicable diseases. In Valais, the Law on Health and its Application Decrees delegate these activities to the Cantonal Unit for Infectious Diseases, which is part of the Infectious Diseases Department of the Central Institute of hospitals.
The doctors and nurses in this unit are required by the cantonal doctor to monitor communicable diseases in the population of Valais and to coordinate any necessary public health measures.