DHMH and Baltimore County Department of Health Investigating Cluster of Invasive Group A Streptococcus Associated with Cosmetic Surgery Center

 BALTIMORE (September 19, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Baltimore County Department of Health are investigating a cluster of three severe invasive Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in persons who recently had liposuction at a cosmetic surgery center, Monarch Med Spa, in Timonium, Maryland.  The procedures occurred in mid-August to mid-September.  All three patients were hospitalized; one subsequently died.

DHMH and Baltimore County have ordered the facility closed while the investigation proceeds to determine possible sources of the infections and to limit further spread (the order is attached).  The facility has been cooperative in the course of the investigation.
 
Any individual who has had any procedure at this facility recently and has concerns about a subsequent infection should consult with his/her primary care provider and notify his/her local health department.  Symptoms may include:
  • Fever or influenza-like syndrome
  • Redness at a wound site
  • Abrupt onset of generalized or localized severe pain and swelling, often rapidly increasing
  • Progressive dizziness, weakness and confusion
Group A Streptococci are often found in the throat and on the skin.  These bacteria are spread through direct contact with mucus from the nose or throat of persons who are infected or through contact with infected wounds or sores on the skin or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Sick individuals, such as those who have strep throat or skin infections (impetigo), are most likely to spread the infection.  Persons (also called “carriers”) who carry the bacteria but have no symptoms are much less contagious.
 
Most GAS infections are relatively mild; however, occasionally these bacteria can cause severe and even life-threatening diseases when they infect parts of the body where bacteria usually are not found, such as the blood, muscle, or the lungs.  These infections are termed "invasive GAS disease."
 
Persons with skin lesions (such as cuts, surgical wounds, chickenpox), the elderly, and adults with a history of alcohol abuse or injection drug use have a higher risk for developing invasive GAS disease.  Also, people with chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and chronic heart or lung disease, and those who use medications such as steroids, have a higher risk.
Over the last five years, an average of 189 cases of invasive GAS were reported annually in Maryland.  About 9,000 to 11,500 cases of invasive GAS disease occur each year in the United States, resulting in 1,000 to 1,800 deaths annually. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/groupastreptococcal_g.htm.
 
Cosmetic surgery centers in Maryland are not currently subject to state licensure. In the near future, DHMH will seek public comment on potential approaches to oversight of these facilities.
 
Media inquiries regarding this infection cluster will be handled by the Baltimore County Department of Health Public Information Office. Call Monique Lyle at 410-887-6092 or 443-463-3757.
 

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WCHD News

 

(Snow Hill, MD)- The 22nd Annual “Tortoise & Hare Dare” 5K walk/run will be held at 9 am, on Saturday, April 6, with a rain date of April 13, at Pocomoke River State Park-Shad Landing, Snow Hill, Maryland. Registration begins at 8:30 am. This is a FREE event and is Pet-Friendly and will be led by Smokey the Bear. The first 100 runners/walkers to check-in on the day of the event will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. There is no cost to take part in the Tortoise and the Hare Dare. The Worcester County Health Department, Worcester County Department of Recreation & Parks, and Pocomoke River State Park all co-sponsor the 5k.

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(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department is pleased to announce new funding awarded through the Maryland Department of Health, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, to put into action community-based projects that support physical activity in Worcester County. This new grant funding will help WCHD create projects that line up with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Healthy People 2020 campaign.

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Worcester County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provides consultation to parents, home owners, renters, landlords, medical offices, and other concerned community members on the lead poisoning, prevention, testing, and regulations. Education and case management is provide to parents with children with elevated blood lead levels. Call 410-632-1100 for more information. 


What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is one of the most common environmental child health problems in the United States and effects 3 to 4 million children. Lead is especially harmful to children younger than 6, but anyone who eats, drinks, or breathes something which has too much lead can get lead poisoning. Although chipping paint and paint dust are the most common sources of lead, lead can also be found in ceramic cups and dishes, fishing sinkers, craft supplies, leaded crystal, spray paint, and even in soil and water.

Click the image below for more information.

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Flu season is fully underway but it's not too late to reduce your risk. Flu vaccines are still available in Worcester County and simple, everyday precautions such as washing your hands, staying home when you're sick, and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze can help stop the spread of the flu. To learn more call 410-632-1100 or click the image below to visit the CDC page on flu prevention. 

 

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Snow Hill Rotary partners with Worcester Health on prescription lockboxes; Health Department to launch new substance abuse awareness campaigns in Spring 2019


(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department and Snow Hill Rotary Club partnered in 2019 to provide free prescription lockboxes to the community. In 2018, the Rotary conducted a needs assessment to determine priorities for where to donate their resources. After having presentations from various organizations, including the Worcester County Health Department, it was determined that the opioid crisis would be a priority area and partnering with the health department to provide lock boxes was the intervention they selected. The Snow Hill Rotary Club also participated in a Naloxone training provided by the health department.

Funded by the Rotary Club, the new lockboxes encourage residents to keep their prescription medications, such as opioids, safe and secure. In addition to promoting responsible opioid storage, Worcester Health will launch several new awareness campaigns this spring focusing on Addiction in the Workplace, Naloxone training, reducing the stigma around recovery as well as promoting the State of Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law.

“I would like to thank the Snow Hill Rotary Club for partnering with the Worcester County Health Department on the lockbox initiative,” said Rebecca Jones, Health Officer for Worcester County. “This is another avenue in which to fight the ongoing opioid crisis.”

 Pictured (left to right): Mimi Dean, Director of Prevention, Worcester County Health Department, Rebecca Jones, Health Officer, Worcester County Health Department, Marty Pusey, Snow Hill Rotary Club, Chris Welch, President, Snow Hill Rotary Club.

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