DHMH Highlights Health Impacts of STDs during STD Awareness Month

 BALTIMORE (April 1, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners around the country in the observance of April as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Awareness Month.

Nearly 20 million new Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) occur in the United States every year, costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone, according to the CDC. In addition to the health consequences of STIs and the increased risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV that is associated with STIs, the looming global threat of treatment-resistant gonorrhea makes prevention critical.

In Maryland, STI rates continue to be higher than the national average for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, the three STIs (in addition to HIV and AIDS) that are reported to DHMH and local health departments. Adolescents, young adults, females, gay and bisexual men, and people of color are disproportionately affected by STIs.

In 2011, the last year for which data are available:

Syphilis rates in Maryland rose from the previous year. According to the CDC, Maryland ranked 2nd in the U.S. for primary and secondary syphilis (the infectious stages of syphilis), with 452 cases per 100,000 population, a rate of 7.8, compared to the U.S. rate of 4.5.
Maryland ranked 16th in the nation for Chlamydia, with 27,212 cases reported, a rate of 471.3 per 100,000 population. The national Chlamydia rate for the same period was 457.6.
Maryland ranked 16th for gonorrhea; 6,458 cases reported were reported, a rate of 111.9 per 100,000 population compared with a national rate of 104.2.

"Sexual health is an important part of overall health. Individuals, parents, health care providers, and the community all have roles to play in promoting sexual health and reducing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV," said Dr. Laura Herrera, Deputy Secretary for Public Health

The health consequences of STIs include: infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain, fetal and infant illness or death, an increased risk for certain cancers, the risk of becoming infected with HIV, and if infected with HIV, transmitting HIV more easily to others. The good news is there are effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat STIs.

Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective STI prevention strategies. Safe, effective vaccines are also available for all individuals who are sexually active – particularly young people to prevent hepatitis B and some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause disease and cancer. STI screening and early diagnosis are essential in preventing transmission and the long-term health consequences of STIs.

To help combat STIs, DHMH is co-sponsoring its Fourth Annual Sexual and Reproductive Health live webinar. "STI Hot Topics: What’s New in Sexually Transmitted Infections,” will be presented by Dr. John G. Bartlett on Wednesday, April 17, from noon to 1:30 pm. Health professionals interested in watching the webinar can log on to www.jhsph.edu/maphtc.

To learn more about STIs in Maryland, or to find a testing site near you, visit the DHMH Center for Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention at http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDPCS/CSTIP/, or call 410-767-6690. Information can also be found at www.cdc.gov/std

 

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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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