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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: prevention

by Joylene John-Sowah, MD MPH, Division Chief, Communicable Diseases, Baltimore County Department of Health & Human Services

Summer brings backyard gatherings, picnics and travel. The fun should not be overshadowed by thoughts of Zika. At the Baltimore County Department of Health, we are doing our part to make this season safe. 

Aedes mosquitos can become infected with the Zika virus if they bite a person that has it. These infected mosquitos can then spread the virus to other people through bites. The majority of people who become infected with Zika never know it, while others may experience fever, rash, headache, joint pain, and/or conjunctivitis (red eyes). These symptoms usually last for several days to a week. Even though symptoms are usually mild and 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) and brain damage.

When travelling this season, it’s important to be aware of the areas with active transmission of Zika virus. In the continental US, active local Zika transmission by mosquitoes has been reported in Miami-Dade County, Florida and Brownsville, Texas.  Find out more about specific areas in the U.S. and other countries with active Zika transmission.

Mosquito control and protection are important to preventing mosquito bites and breeding opportunities. 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 objects and containers that stay outside and 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 you or 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!

If you have a community organization that would be interested in having a representative from the Department of Health give an educational presentation about Zika virus, call 410-887-6011.


photo of man getting flu shotSeven Locations for Super Saturday Flu Vaccination Clinics

Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services and “Sure Shot,” the Department of Health mascot, announced the County’s Super Saturday, free flu vaccination clinics.

On Saturday, October 17, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Department will hold public flu vaccination clinics at the follow locations in each of the seven council districts:

Drumcastle Government Center
6401 York Road, First Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21212

Dundalk Middle School 
7400 Dunmanway
Baltimore, Maryland 21222

Hereford Middle School
712 Corbett Road
Monkton, Maryland 21111

Lansdowne Middle School
2400 Lansdowne Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21227

Liberty Family Resource Center
3525 Resource Drive
Randallstown, Maryland 21133

Middle River Middle School
800 Middle River Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21220

Pikesville Middle School
7701 Seven Mile Lane
Pikesville, Maryland 21208

Appointments Not Necessary

Free flu vaccinations will be available, while supplies last. Vaccines are given on a first come, first serve basis and no appointment is needed. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination will be administered.

“Nobody wants to catch the flu and flu vaccines are a great defense against this common, but potentially dangerous illness,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “By having clinics located across the County, we are making it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get their free, annual flu shot on Saturday.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine – even if they were vaccinated last year – since immunity from vaccination declines over time and strains my change from year to year. The vaccine is safe, effective and readily available this season.

Flu FACTS

“I am urging all individuals six months and older to stay in the game and get a flu shot this year,” stated Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “As I remind residents every fall, the best defensive move against the flu is knowing the flu FACTS – Frequently wash your hands, Always get an annual flu shot, Cover your coughs, Take time off when you are sick, and Seek medical treatment if symptoms get worse.”

For more information visit Super Saturday Flu vaccination clinics or call 410-887-BCHD (2243).

photo of Kamenetz, Dr. Dance and


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017