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Worcester County Health Department confirms second rabid cat this week
Snow Hill, Md. - Worcester County Health Department has confirmed that a second cat tested positive for rabies this week. It was determined that the cat was part of a free roaming colony living on an unoccupied property next to several homes in the area of Old Ocean City Road outside of Berlin. The cat is described as a small black and orange (tortoise shell calico) female with white on its chin and neck and four white feet.
 
Health department officials warn that any person, pet or other animal that may have had contact with this cat could be at risk for rabies exposure. To report any contact with or exposure to the cat, call the Worcester County Health Department immediately at 410-641-9559. If you call after hours or on the weekend, call Worcester County Emergency Services at 410-632-1311 to reach health department on-call staff.
 
If a person has been bitten or scratched, he or she should seek immediate medical care. Post-exposure treatment is necessary to prevent rabies.  If not treated, rabies is fatal.  If a pet has had contact with this cat, contact your veterinarian.
 
For general questions about rabies, please call 410-632-4321. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:23
 
Worcester County Health Department advises rabid cat found at the Pocomoke River State Park - Milburn Landing Area Campground
Snow Hill, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department has confirmed that an adult was bitten by a rabid cat at the Pocomoke River State Park - Milburn Landing campground area on Monday, September 15, 2014.  The cat was located, euthanized and sent for rabies testing. Rabies was confirmed by the State Laboratories Administration Rabies Lab. The cat was described as a medium adult male, dark gray with white under its chin and belly with four white feet.
 
Health department officials warn that any person, pet or other animal that may have had contact with this cat could be at risk for rabies exposure. To report any contact with or exposure to the cat, call the Worcester County Health Department immediately at 410-641-9559. If you call after hours or on the weekend, call Worcester County Emergency Services at 410-632-1311 to reach health department on-call staff.
 
If a person has been bitten or scratched, he or she should seek immediate medical care. Post-exposure treatment is necessary to prevent rabies.  If not treated, rabies is fatal.  If a pet has had contact with this cat, contact your veterinarian.
 
 
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:17
 
Worcester County Health Department honored for excellence in public health communication
Snow Hill, Md. – The National Public Health Information Coalition announced the Worcester County Health department has been recognized in a national competition honoring excellence in public health communication.
 
“We are extremely pleased that the top nationwide voice of public health communication has recognized our work,” said Health Officer Debbie Goeller. “A key component of public health is communicating with our communities to help people understand how to reduce their individual health risks.”
 
Worcester County Health Department received the Bronze Award in Op/Ed Category for a column written by program coordinator Katherine Gunby about the Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program and the new state health insurance exchange. The column was published in The Daily Times in September 2013.
 
NPHIC is the leading national organization for public health communication professionals.  NPHIC’s ranks include public information officers, risk communicators and health educators at state, tribal and local health departments across the country. As the recognized voice of public health communication, NPHIC’s award program offers gold, silver and bronze awards in 17 public health communication categories.
 
As a recipient of the NPHIC award the Worcester County Health Department has been designated by an independent panel of judges as among the year’s best in public health communication.
 
Visit NPHIC’s web site www.nphic.org  for more information about NPHIC.
 
 
Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 10:46
 
West Nile Virus Detected in Maryland Resident
BALTIMORE (August 28, 2014) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today announced the first confirmed case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Maryland this year. The infected individual is an adult who lives in the National Capital Region. In addition, WNV has also been detected in a horse, also in the National Capital Region, and in mosquito pools collected in Harford, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Talbot Counties. A mosquito pool is a group of mosquitoes collected at one of several trap sites across the State.
 
 “A case of WNV is not unexpected," said DHMH Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein. "Marylanders are reminded that they can take basic steps to reduce the risk of getting infected."
 
Measures people can take to protect themselves include:
 
Avoid areas of high mosquito activity.
Avoid unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats when concerned about mosquito exposure.
Use an EPA-registered insect repellent according to package directions.
 
Most individuals infected with WNV will not have any symptoms. People that do develop illness will usually have any combination of fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. These symptoms generally appear two to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito. Less than one percent of persons exposed to the virus will develop more severe infections, with symptoms such as headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. In rare instances, WNV can be fatal. Persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of developing more severe disease. People who are immunocompromised may also be at high risk of WNV infection.
 
Residents are urged to monitor their own yards and gardens for standing water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Small amounts of water in a discarded can or container will support dozens of mosquitoes. To eliminate mosquito-breeding areas:
 
Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used as playground equipment.
Turn over wading pools, wheelbarrows, wagons and carts when not in use. Flush water from bottom of plant holders twice a week.
Replace water in birdbaths at least twice a week.
Turn garbage can lids upside down and make sure trash receptacles are empty of water.
Fix dripping faucets.
Aerate ornamental pools and water gardens or stock with fish and use a circulating filter system.
 
The Maryland Department of Agriculture will spray all participating communities within a one-mile radius of where the person resides, and continue routine spray operations in all other participating communities throughout the state. 
 
Although birds are not routinely tested for WNV in Maryland, sick or injured birds can be reported to an appropriate local wildlife rehabilitator. Residents can call 1-877-463-6497 for a list of licensed rehabilitators or visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources web site at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Plants_Wildlife/rehab.asp.  Detailed instructions on what to do when you find a sick or dead bird can be found at http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/west-nile.aspx .
 
The number of human WNV cases in Maryland has varied over the years. The peak years of human activity occurred in 2003 and 2012, with 73 and 47 WNV cases reported statewide, respectively. In 2013, there were 16 reported cases of WNV infection in Maryland.
 
DHMH provides weekly updates of WNV detected in humans, mosquitoes and horses in Maryland on its website. For each case, DHMH indicates whether the infected individual is a child or an adult and the region of the state where the individual resides. The case announced today will be reflected in the report posted on Wednesday, September 3rd. The reports will be available each Wednesday at http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/west-nile.aspx.
 
For additional information on West Nile virus, visit:
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/west-nile.aspx 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html
 
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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 15:23
 

WCHD News

 Baltimore, MD (September 15, 2014) -- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration almost 4,000 children were killed and an estimated 613,000 were injured in traffic crashes between 2008-2012. In Maryland, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) “Injury Report Book – 2011” cites traffic crashes as the leading cause of injury-related deaths for children aged 5 -14 years old and the second leading cause of injury-related death for 0 – 4 year olds.
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Salisbury, MD. – Dorchester, Somerset, Sussex, Wicomico and Worcester counties invite the public to Emergency Preparedness Night on August 23rd at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
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Snow Hill, Maryland- August 1, 2014.  Get fit, lose weight, and improve your health with certified lifestyle coaches through group sessions beginning August 25th in Snow Hill.  The Lifestyle Balance Program is a year-long, healthy eating, physical activity, and weight loss program that has been proven effective in reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases, assisting in weight loss and maintenance of a healthy body weight, and decreasing the risk for heart disease and stroke.  
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