Dorchester County Health Department

3 Cedar Street | Cambridge, MD 21613 | 410-228-3223; Fax 410-228-9319 | Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

 

Flu Information

Practicing prevention is our best defense against the flu and other viruses and infections. Here are some Flu Care/Prevention reminders, please take these everyday steps to protect your health and your family.

-        Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

-        Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective.

-        Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. Germs spread this way.

-        Try to avoid contact with sick people.

-        If you get sick, CDC recommends you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others.

 

Do Not send ill children to school, “to get checked by the school nurse”.  You may call the school nurse with questions; however, we urge you to call your child’s healthcare provider with specific concerns. 

Remember to plan for sick childcare ahead of time, and keep canned soups, bottled juices and frozen juice pops on hand for when individuals become ill.  Keep age appropriate fever reducing medication on hand (check expiration dates). 

DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN (OR ASPIRIN CONTAINING PRODUCTS) TO CHILDREN OF ANY AGE (unless physician instructs), due to risk of Reye’s Syndrome, which can result from taking aspirin when a child has a virus.

 

For Individuals with Special Health Care Needs, please be sure to have all medications and supplies on hand.  Check the expiration dates and replace as needed.

PLEASE NOTE:  People at high risk for influenza complications that become ill with influenza-like illness, should speak to their healthcare provider as soon as possible. Early treatment with antiviral medications is very important.  This includes those who are pregnant, have asthma or diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or have neuromuscular disorders.

 

DO CALL DOCTOR for these WARNING SIGNS:

           

            IN CHILDREN            

1.      Fast or trouble breathing

2.      Not drinking enough fluids

3.      Not waking up or not interacting as usual

4.      So irritable child resists being held, OR symptoms get better, then get worse

 

      IN ADULTS

1.      Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

2.      Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

3.      Sudden dizziness or confusion

4.      Severe or persistent vomiting

                                                                                                                                         

GET VACCINATED.

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Disease Surveillance

The Dorchester County Health Department Communicable Disease Program provides surveillance for all reportable diseases within Dorchester County. The list of required reportable communicable diseases can be found at www.dhmh.state.md.us/. Health care providers are required by the state to report diseases which are potentially contagious to others, and would require investigation of contacts to stop the potential spread of the disease. The laboratories are also required to report certain diseases to the health department for further investigation by communicable disease staff. (Refer to internet site noted above for list of lab reportable diseases).

The Dorchester County Communicable Disease Program conducts disease investigation into all reportable diseases and submits reports of these diseases to the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH). The CD program also conducts contact investigation and follow-up as needed. The Communicable Disease Program plays an important role in the containment of outbreaks and is responsible for investigating the situation to determine the potential infectious agent and its transmission route and source. This is to control/prevent the further spread of the infection to others. The Communicable Disease Program serves as an important resource for healthcare providers and community organizations and members as well, providing information on various communicable diseases, disease transmission facts, and necessary precautions to limit the risk or reduce/eliminate the spread of communicable disease.

Adult Immunizations

Adult immunizations are administered to decrease/eliminate vaccine preventable diseases and maintain health. These vaccines include annual influenza vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, MMR, and Tetanus vaccine, and meningococcal vaccine. Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is also administered to high-risk individuals. These high-risk individuals include Veterinary hospital staff, animal hunters/trappers, and individuals conducting research on wildlife. Individuals ages 18 and above are eligible for adult immunization services. Costs vary according to vaccine. Appointments are necessary in order to have adequate vaccine supply available. Foreign travel vaccines are also administered to individuals traveling to at-risk areas of the world. These vaccines include the Hepatitis A vaccine and the Typhoid vaccine. Preventative measures to reduce risk exposure are discussed at the time of vaccination. All ages are eligible for foreign travel immunizations.

Employee Health is also an important part of the Communicable Disease Program. This includes annual PPD (TB) skin testing, review and update of employee immunizations, i.e., MMR, Varicella, & Tetanus, and employee Blood borne & Tuberculosis initial training and annual review.

Sexually Transmitted Disease

The Communicable Disease Program also includes a Sexually Transmitted Disease program and clinic, which provides examination and screening for sexually transmitted diseases with contact investigation and follow-up. Anyone requesting screening for an STD is eligible.

Fee: Services are offered on a sliding scale and insurance is accepted.  Under the age of 21 services are free of charge.

Hours of operation: Clinics are held on Mondays from 9 am to 4 pm and on Thursdays from 9am to 11:30am at 3 Cedar Street. Appointments are requested, but walk-ins are accommodated if possible.

For more information, please contact Pamela Quillen, RN at (410) 228-3223.

Tuberculosis Program

Screening for Tuberculosis using PPD skin testing (Mantoux) is done. Sputum specimens are obtained and chest x-rays are done at the local hospital to R/O active TB disease. Tuberculosis medications are given under (DOT) Direct Observed Therapy for active TB patients, where TB staff observes each pill being taken by the patient. This insures compliance with the necessary treatment. Contact investigation is conducted on every active Tuberculosis patient. Each contact is then screened with a PPD skin test, sent for a chest x-ray if they have a positive PPD to rule out active disease, and then they are offered preventative treatment if their chest x-ray is negative for active disease. Preventative treatment is also available for those with Latent TB infection (inactive-non contagious) Tuberculosis.

Eligibility: Treatment for Tuberculosis (active disease) is provided by the Tuberculosis Program and is also coordinated with the patient’s healthcare provider if they have one.

Fee:  Treatment for active disease and their contacts is provided free of charge. Patients requesting PPD skin testing with a subsequent positive result will be sent for a follow-up chest x-ray. The cost of this chest x-ray is covered by the TB program, for any individual not having health insurance.

For more information, please contact Pamela Quillen, RN at (410) 228-3223.

Resources

www.cdc.gov

www.dhmh.state.md.us

www.aidsinfo.nih.gov

Vaccine Information

www.immunize.org

MD State Health Dept

 




3 Cedar Street | Cambridge, MD 21613 | 410-228-3223; Fax 410 228-9319 | Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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DCHD