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Keyword: prevention

"Just in Time" Database to Be Used by the Departments of Health, Police, Fire and Corrections.

The Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received a $2.6 million federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to address the opioid epidemic in Baltimore County, with the possibility to receive subsequent funding. Initial grant funds will support the development of a “Just In Time” database to be used by the Departments of Health, Police, Fire and Corrections, who are on the frontlines of responding to substance abuse disorders and fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses.

“The opioid epidemic affects every corner of our county, and an effective response requires all of our agencies to work together. This generous grant from the CDC elevates countywide coordination and response regarding prevention, intervention, enforcement and protection efforts,” said Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr.

“These funds will help Baltimore fight against the opioid epidemic, providing the County with crucial data to help monitor its efforts and improve their response. Combating this scourge requires an all-hands-on-deck approach – we must keep working together at the local, state and federal level to address this public health crisis,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md).

The “Just In Time” database, the project’s centerpiece, supports surveillance and prevention efforts of Health and Human Services and public safety agencies. “This CDC grant is vital in affording the availability of real-time data such as location and demographics, resulting in lifesaving outcomes for Baltimore County residents,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director and Health Officer.

Information in the database will be used to increase provider knowledge of safe opioid prescribing practices and increase linkage to care for individuals at-risk, including targeting high-risk populations such as substance exposed newborns. Data analysis will help to identify trends and areas of greatest need; recommend prevention activities and enable multi-agency first responders to more efficiently determine necessary steps, including automatic referral for peer services.

The Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promotes well-being among individuals and families by providing quality health, housing and social services. Along with an administrative unit, HHS is comprised of the Departments of Health and Social Services.


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.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017