Awareness is Key to Preventing Rabies Infection

 Baltimore (April 18, 2013) -- As the weather gets warmer and people and their pets are enjoying more time outdoors, the risk of rabies transmission from animals to people is at its highest. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) reminds Marylanders to be mindful of the risk and take the proper precautions.

“Rabies is a serious disease transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal. The best way to protect your family is to vaccinate your pets,” said Dr. Katherine Feldman, State Public Health Veterinarian. “We want to remind Marylanders to report all animal bites to your local health department or animal control agency.”

Rabies is most commonly found among wildlife such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, but can be transmitted to domestic animals. To date this year, 88 animals have been diagnosed with rabies in Maryland, including eight cats and one horse. Cats account for the majority of rabies cases in domestic animals in Maryland and in the U.S.

Local health departments offer low-cost animal rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats, and ferrets to aid in statewide rabies prevention efforts. Contact your local health department to find out about spring clinics in your area.

When a person is bitten by or exposed to saliva of a rabid animal, the disease is prevented by the administration of a four-dose rabies vaccine series administered over a 14-day period and a dose of rabies immunoglobulin given at the beginning of the series. Each year, approximately 900 Marylanders receive preventive treatment after exposure to a rabid or potentially rabid animal.

Animals with rabies often show changes in behavior. Wild animals may act friendly, domestic animals may become aggressive, and animals that are active only at night may appear during the day. Rabid animals may stagger, drool, or become paralyzed. The diagnosis of rabies is made by examining brain tissue from the suspected rabid animal.

To prevent exposure to rabies:

Have your dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, sheep, and cattle vaccinated against rabies.
Keep your pet under your control at all times, especially when traveling.
Enjoy wildlife from a distance and do not feed wildlife.
Avoid sick animals and any that are acting in an unusual manner.
Cover garbage cans securely and do not leave pet food outside.
Do not relocate wildlife.
Prevent bats from entering your home. If you find a bat in your home, do not touch it. Only let it go if you are sure no people or household pets have had any contact with it. Contact your local health department or animal control agency for assistance.
If you or your pet has been bitten or otherwise exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid domestic animal, get the owner’s name, address and telephone number. Contact your local health department or animal control agency immediately.

Additional information about rabies can be found at: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/rabies.aspx.


 

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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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