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Baltimore County News

Baltimore County News

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  1. Zap Zika

    Lucia Donatelli, MD,
     Chief, Bureau of Prevention, Protection, and Preparedness
     Baltimore County Department of Heal

    With the Olympic Games upon us this summer, people all over the world prepare to celebrate athletic excellence. This year, Rio de Janeiro will carry the torch, but unfortunately the spread of Zika virus in many parts of Central America, South America and the Caribbean may dim the light.

    Aedes mosquitos can be infected with the Zika virus if they bite a person with it. These infected mosquitos can then spread the virus to other people through bites. Many people who become infected with Zika never know it, while others may experience fever, rash, joint pain, and/or conjunctivitis (red eyes). These symptoms usually last for several days to a week. Even though they are mild and will go away with rest and fluids, pregnant women are at risk of passing it on to their unborn babies.  Zika has been linked to a number of birth defects, including microcephaly (small head due to small brain).

    When travelling this season, it’s important to be aware of the areas with active transmission of Zika virus. Even in the continental US, where there is currently no active local Zika transmission by mosquitoes, mosquito control and protection are still extremely important to preventing mosquito bites and breeding opportunities. Mosquitoes can easily reproduce in small amounts of water, especially in containers found in your yard.

    In order to prevent the spread of Zika virus, always remember to WRAP UP!

    W: Wear long sleeved shirts, pants and hats.

    R: Repair damaged doors and windows.

    A: Always empty containers that hold water to avoid creating mosquito breeding sites.

    P: Protect yourself with an EPA-registered insect repellent.

    U: Use condoms or abstain from sexual activity if you are pregnant, or if your partner has been in a Zika infested area.

    P: Pregnant women should avoid traveling to areas affected by Zika.

    By following these simple steps, we can all do our part to Zap Zika!

    To learn more about Zika, attend an upcoming Community Chat at 6 p.m. on June 28 at the Baltimore County Department of Health or get the most up-to-date news on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

    Fri, 24 Jun 2016 21:03:00 GMT
  2. Kid Lit, Spamalot and butterflies on Baltimore County arts and culture show

     The summer edition of smARTS, the Baltimore County arts and culture show, is now airing on Baltimore County cable channel 25. Featured segments include:

    • Host Carolyn Black-Sotir speaks with Kevin O’Malley, author/illustrator of 75 children’s books and “At the Ballpark: A Fan’s Companion,” a primer about America’s favorite pastime.  
    • Meet Valerie Smalkin, whose career has gone from singer to lawyer to ventriloquist.  
    • “Spamalot” comes to Cockpit in Court at CCBC Essex -- hear the Lady of the Lake sing in search of her grail.
    • Explore wildlife, minerals and natural wonders at the Natural History Museum of Maryland in Overlea.
    • Get smARTER about the Maryland butterflies around us.

    smARTS airs Thursdays and Fridays, 7:00-7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 11:30 a.m.- noon on Baltimore County cable channel 25. SmARTS segments also are available on YouTube

    smARTS is a production of the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Schools and BCPS-TV. 

    Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:01:00 GMT
  3. Community Invited to Help Improve the Loch Raven West and Western Run Watersheds

    Watershed Includes Greater Reisterstown, Butler, Upperco, Worthington Valley Areas

    Baltimore County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) invites people from communities within the Loch Raven West and Western Run watersheds to participate in an upcoming public meeting on the evening of Tuesday, June 28 to discuss ways to protect the watershed. This watershed includes much of western Baltimore County including Upperco, Glyndon, Boring, Butler, Worthington Valley, and the north side of Reisterstown.

    The June 28 community meeting will take place at the Historic Emory Grove Hotel, located at 102 Waugh Avenue, Reisterstown, MD 21136, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

    Who Should Participate?

    This public meeting offers a chance for community residents, business people, community and environmental groups and anyone interested in clean water to get involved and learn about the project to date, and most importantly, provide suggestions about their vision and priorities for the watershed. The purpose of the SWAP is to collaboratively form a vision statement and goals document with the public and identify goals and objectives to improve natural areas in the watershed.

    In addition to the SWAP plan information, there will be an informative guest presentation on proper care and maintenance for septic systems.

     Background of Small Watershed Action Plans in Maryland

    For more information on Baltimore County’s Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs), please call the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability at 410-887-8240 or visit

    The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability is responsible for the protection of the environment and the improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Baltimore County. This is accomplished through programs that manage and enhance natural and man-made resources, and that provide environmental guidelines to our constituents.

    In the late 1990s, national stormwater permits required major counties in Maryland to reduce pollution from roads and neighborhoods that drain to local streams. Counties began monitoring programs and prepared watershed plans to identify projects and programs that could reduce pollution from these non-point sources. Many projects were completed and reductions tallied in annual reports. Much progress was made, however additional reductions are needed to have clean water that meets water quality standards.

    To reach these additional reductions, Baltimore County is developing Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) to focus on communities as smaller groups and to identify specific solutions that are tailored to local areas. They are used by Baltimore County in conjunction with citizen groups to implement actions that create and maintain healthy watersheds.

    Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:34:00 GMT
  4. Men - Your Car Isn’t the Only Thing that Needs a Tune Up

    Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D., MBA, CPE, FACP
    Director, Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services

    Let’s be honest. Men are notorious for avoiding the doctor. In fact, women are 100% more likely to seek preventative care than men. Whether its stubbornness, avoidance, or even social reasons, you can’t avoid the fact that men put themselves at high risk by not being proactive about their health. Serious conditions such as high cholesterol and blood pressure don’t have obvious symptoms that can put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Also, many cancers don’t present with telltale signs until it’s too late.

    Whether you’re a man, or have a man in your life that you care about, odds are a checkup is overdue. The good news is that the Baltimore County Department of Health is offering free help. On June 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at two locations: the Woodlawn Health Center and the Eastern Family Resource Center, men ages 18 and older can receive free screenings. No appointment or insurance is necessary.

    The following screenings will be offered:

    • Height and weight
    • Blood pressure
    • Glucose
    • Hearing
    • HIV/STI testing
    • Oral cancer
    • Substance abuse

    June is Men’s Health Month - a great time to man up, check up, and tune up. Get serious about your health and take advantage of these free screenings. For more information, call 410-887-2705.

    Wed, 22 Jun 2016 19:20:00 GMT
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