Contact your Department of Public Health

Follow your Department of Public Health on DPH Facebook Page or DPH Twitter Site

 

2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |   2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008

2007  |  2006  |  2005  |   2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001  |  2000  |  1999  |  1998  |  1997


 

Department of Health Newsroom 2009

December 28, 2009: Wednesday H1N1 Vaccine Clinics at Queeny Park through January
December 15, 2009: Information about the H1N1 vaccine recall
December 14, 2009: H1N1 Vaccine Clinic at Queeny Park
December 10, 2009: H1N1 Vaccine Offered at Two County Health Centers
December 8, 2009: Priority Group Guidelines Lifted as More H1N1 Vaccine Becomes Available
December 5, 2009: County Health Department Vaccinates Thousands against H1N1 Virus
December 1, 2009: County Health Department Urges Residents to Attend Second Round of Public H1N1 Vaccination Clinics
November 20, 2009: County Health Department Announces Second Round of Public H1N1 Vaccination Clinics
November 17, 2009: Priority Groups Expanded as More H1N1 Vaccine Becomes Available
November 7, 2009: Health Department Vaccinates Thousands against H1N1 Virus
November 5, 2009: Line Tickets Needed to Attend County H1N1 Vaccination Events
November 4, 2009: County Health Department Offering Free H1N1 Vaccinations at Five Public Clinics
October 22, 2009: County Health Department Distributing Three Types of New H1N1 Flu Vaccine
October 19, 2009: Saint Louis County Department of Health Announces Free H1N1 Vaccination Events for Pregnant Women
October 7, 2009: County Residents Can “Go Green” with Proper Disposal of Household Chemicals
October 1, 2009: High Flu Numbers Already Reported in Saint Louis County as Traditional Start of Flu Season Arrives
September 17, 2009: County Health Department Urges Residents to Get a Seasonal Flu Vaccine
September 14, 2009: County Health Department Warns Rabid Bats Pose Threat to Unvaccinated Pets
September 10, 2009: County Health Department Urges Employers to Be Ready for Flu Season
August 27, 2009: Saint Louis County Department of Health Prepares for the New H1N1 Flu Vaccine
August 19, 2009: Flu Prevention Emphasized as Kids Head Back to School
August 13, 2009: Saint Louis County Highlights Its Three Health Centers during National Health Center Week
August 10, 2009: County Health Department Urges Certain People to Get a Pneumonia Vaccination to Avoid a Common Complication of the Flu
August 7, 2009: The Summer Heat Is Back! The County Health Department Urges Caution during Extreme Heat
August 3, 2009: County Health Department Reminds Parents and Guardians to Schedule Back-to-School Immunizations Early
July 14, 2009: Department Receives Applications for Fred Weber Waste Processing Facility and Fred Weber Composting Facility
June 26, 2009: Two Heat Related Deaths Reported in Saint Louis County
June 23, 2009: County Opens Three Cooling Shelters
June 23, 2009: Bats Should Be Captured; Not Released
June 22, 2009: County Health Department Urges Caution during Extreme Heat
June 15, 2009: Mosquitoes Test Positive for WNV in St. Louis County; Heavy Rains Boost non-WNV Mosquito Population
May 19, 2009: County Health Department Urges Residents Take Usual Precautions to Avoid Flu Following Death of Local Man Infected with 2009 H1N1
May 18, 2009: County Health Department Offers Information about Bats
May 8, 2009: County Health Department Urges Parents to Keep Children with Flu Symptoms Out of School
May 7, 2009: Saint Louis County Health Department Responds to Cases of 2009 H1N1 Flu
April 28, 2009: County Health Department Prepared for Swine Flu
April 13, 2009: Saint Louis County Department of Health Launches SPAY AND NEUTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM  Voucher program helps control pet overpopulation
April 10, 2009: Department Receives Application for Expansion of Missouri Pass Waste Processing Facility
April 10, 2009: County Health Department Urges Everyone to Wear a Safety Helmet When Cycling, Skating, or Skateboarding
April 7, 2009: The Nurse-Family Partnership Represents the Best of Public Health Efforts
April 6, 2009: County Health Department Urges Better Awareness of Public Health Efforts
March 18, 2009: Nondomestic Animals Need License in County
March 9, 2009: County Health Department Seeks Volunteer Leaders for Emergencies
February 10, 2009: County Health Department Tracks Increase in Flu Cases
February 2, 2009: Comprehensive Accreditation Renewed for the Saint Louis County Department of Health
January 23, 2009: County Department of Health Receives Application for Expansion of Fred Weber Sanitary Landfill


Wednesday H1N1 Vaccine Clinics at Queeny Park through January

(December 28, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health will be offering H1N1 vaccine to county residents free of charge on Wednesday, December 30 and every Wednesday through January, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Greensfelder Recreation Complex in Queeny Park.


The Queeny Park facility is located at 550 Weidman Road in Ballwin. No appointment is necessary to attend; however, the vaccine cannot be given to children under the age of 6 months.


In addition to the Wednesday event at Queeny Park, the health department will continue to offer H1N1 vaccine on a daily basis at two of its three health centers.


The vaccine is available free of charge at the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, except Thursday, December 31 when the H1N1 clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


The vaccine is also available at the South County Health Center, 4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, except Thursday, December 31, when the H1N1 clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


Both health centers will be closed on Friday, January 1st.


Despite the availability of the vaccine, the health department emphasizes that residents should not lower their guard. The traditional methods of prevention remain important:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

Keep a distance of three feet between you and other people.

Square

Stay home if you are sick (or keep your children home if they are sick).

Square

Go home if you become sick (or pick your children up from school early if they become sick).


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.SaintLouisCountyFlu.com


Information about the H1N1 vaccine recall

(December 15, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health has received 3,300 doses of H1N1 vaccine that has been recalled by the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. The department is in the process of determining where those specific doses are and/or have been sent. The recalled doses represent only 1.19% of the 277,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine.


Some basic points to consider about the voluntary recall:


Square

There are no safety concerns with these lots of vaccine. All of them passed pre-release testing for purity, potency, and safety.

Square

Children who received one of these vaccines do NOT need to be revaccinated.

Square

The vaccine in these lots is still expected to be effective at stimulating an immune response.

Square

As is recommended for all 2009 H1N1 vaccines, children less than 10 years old should get the recommended two doses of H1N1 vaccine approximately a month apart for the optimal immune response.

Square

This voluntary recall was based on routine, ongoing stability testing which revealed that the potency (strength) of the four recalled lots had fallen over time below a pre-specified limit.


H1N1 Vaccine Clinic at Queeny Park

(December 14, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health will be offering H1N1 vaccine to county residents free of charge on Wednesday, December 16th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Greensfelder Recreation Complex in Queeny Park.


“This is another step the department is taking to make the H1N1 vaccine more available to the general public now that the CDC priority group guidelines have been lifted,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “We will be announcing additional locations in the near future.”


The Queeny Park facility is located at 550 Weidman Road in Ballwin. No appointment is necessary to attend; however, the vaccine cannot be given to children under the age of 6 months.


In addition to the Wednesday event at Queeny Park, the health department will continue to offer H1N1 vaccine on a daily basis at two of its three health centers.


The vaccine is available free of charge at the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Thursday when the H1N1 clinic is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


The vaccine is also available at the South County Health Center, 4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Wednesday when the H1N1 clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Both health centers will be closed on Friday, December 18th; Friday, December 25th, and Friday, January 1st for in-service training and for the holidays. Regular Friday business hours will resume on Friday, January 7th, 2010.


The health department has already received more than 270,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine. Additional shipments are expected to continue throughout the flu season.


Despite the availability of additional vaccine, the health department emphasizes that residents should not lower their guard. The traditional methods of prevention remain important:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

Keep a distance of three feet between you and other people.

Square

Stay home if you are sick (or keep your children home if they are sick).

Square

Go home if you become sick (or pick your children up from school early if they become sick).


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.SaintLouisCountyFlu.com


H1N1 Vaccine Offered at Two County Health Centers

(December 10, 2009) The H1N1 vaccine will be available at two Saint Louis County Health Centers to any county resident 6 months of age or older starting on Monday, December 14th. The H1N1 vaccination clinics are walk-in clinics; appointments will not be necessary.


The vaccine will be available free of charge at the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Thursday when the H1N1 clinic will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


The vaccine will also be available at the South County Health Center, 4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Wednesday when the H1N1 clinic will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


“This is just the first step in making the vaccine more available to the general public. We will be announcing more locations in the near future,” said Dr. Dolores G. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department.


The department has already received more than 200,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine. Additional shipments are expected in the following weeks.


Despite the availability of additional vaccine, the health department emphasizes that residents should not lower their guard. The traditional methods of prevention remain important:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

Keep a distance of three feet between you and other people.

Square

Stay home if you are sick (or keep your children home if they are sick).

Square

Go home if you become sick (or pick your children up from school early if they become sick).


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


Priority Group Guidelines Lifted as More H1N1 Vaccine Becomes Available

(December 8, 2009) Due to an increase in the availability of H1N1 vaccine, the Saint Louis County Department of Health is now able to offer H1N1 vaccine to any county resident 6 months of age or older.


“As expected, we have now reached the point that we can make it available to the general public,” said Dr. Dolores G. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department.


Over the next several days, the department will be announcing new avenues of vaccine distribution in order to make the vaccine more generally available in Saint Louis County.


The health department has already received more than 200,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine and additional shipments are expected in the following weeks. The department has distributed vaccine through schools, physicians’ offices, hospitals, and clinics, as well as made it available at public vaccination events held on three different dates – October 31st, November 7th, and December 5th.


Despite the availability of additional vaccine, the health department emphasizes that residents should not lower their guard. The traditional methods of prevention remain important:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

Keep a distance of three feet between you and other people.

Square

Stay home if you are sick (or keep your children home if they are sick).

Square

Go home if you become sick (or pick your children up from school early if they become sick).


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


County Health Department Vaccinates Thousands against H1N1 Virus

(December 5, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health vaccinated 7,869 area residents against the H1N1 virus Saturday. Since early October, more than 200,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been made available to county residents. The Saturday total exceeded the 5,446 doses administered at the first round of clinics in November.


“Saint Louis County residents who get vaccinated are taking a positive step to keep the H1N1 virus from spreading further,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “If you don’t get the flu, then you can’t spread the flu to others.”


Saint Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley said the vaccine is a major development in dealing with the H1N1 virus.


“The health department has done an excellent job making the vaccine available to as many people as possible through schools, physicians, hospitals, and free clinics,” Dooley said.


The clinics were held at five area locations: The Ferguson-Florissant School District Administration Building; Kirkwood High School; Parkway-Central High School; Ritenour High School, and Rockwood-Summit High School.


“We want to thank the participating school districts and our community partners, BJC HealthCare and Boeing, for their assistance,” Gunn said. BJC provided medical personnel and Boeing employees volunteered to staff the vaccination sites.


Added Gunn, “These volunteers joined with our dedicated employees to provide a needed medical service to the community.”


For more information, please visit the County Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


County Health Department Urges Residents to Attend Second Round of Public H1N1 Vaccination Clinics

(December 1, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health is urging all county residents in a priority group to get vaccinated at one of the five free public H1N1 vaccination clinics being held on Saturday, December 5th.


“Even though overall flu numbers have fallen, now is not the time to let up because we are still seeing serious illness, particularly among children,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Health Department. “I strongly urge everyone in a priority group who hasn’t yet been vaccinated to visit one of our free H1N1 clinics this Saturday.”


The five priority groups being targeted for the December 5th events are:


Square

pregnant women;

Square

youth from 6 months of age through 24 years of age;

Square

caregivers of and those who live with infants under the age of 6 months;

Square

adults from 25 years of age through 64 years of age with an underlying health condition that makes them more susceptible to flu complications; and

Square

emergency medical service personnel and healthcare workers.


Dr. Michael P. Williams, Director of Communicable Disease Control Services for the County Health Department, explained that it would not be unusual for flu numbers to rise again.


Said Dr. Williams, “On average, we tend to see three peaks during most pandemics. The Saint Louis area experienced a first peak in May and a second peak in late October. Although the numbers have fallen since then, I would not be surprised to see a third increase later this flu season.”


Added Dr. Gunn, “We are winning the battle against the H1N1 flu because county residents are practicing good hygiene – washing their hands regularly and covering their coughs – and because the H1N1 vaccine is helping to stop the spread of the virus.”


Those wishing to be vaccinated will need to obtain a line ticket from one of the five clinic locations prior to being admitted. A drive-through distribution area for handing out line tickets will be set up at each of the five locations. Line tickets will be available at each location starting at 7:00 a.m. The vaccinations will be administered between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


The Health Department is partnering with BJC and Boeing to staff the five vaccination events.


“This is not a fight we would be winning without the help of our community partners and the residents of Saint Louis County. I would like to thank our friends at BJC and Boeing for participating this Saturday,” said Dr. Gunn.


The five clinic locations on December 5th are:


  Ferguson-Florissant School District Administration Building
1005 Waterford Drive
Florissant, MO 63033

Kirkwood High School
801 West Essex Avenue
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Parkway-Central High School
369 North Woods Mill Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Ritenour High School
9100 Saint Charles Rock Road
Breckenridge Hills, MO 63114

Rockwood-Summit High School
1780 Hawkins Road
Fenton, MO 63026

At least 15,000 doses of vaccine will be available at the Saturday clinics – 3,000 at each of the five sites. A mixture of H1N1 shots and intranasal mist will be available at each site. Because of limited supplies, it will not be possible to honor individual preferences. The type of vaccine used will be based on what is medically appropriate for each patient.


The vaccination events are for the residents of Saint Louis County, and proof of residency may be required, such as a driver’s license or a utility bill. Participants are asked to consider wearing clothing that will allow easy arm access to help speed the process.


Adults and youth aged 10 and over require one dose of vaccine to achieve immunity; children under 10 years of age require two doses, spaced at least four (4) weeks apart.


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


County Health Department Announces Second Round of Public H1N1 Vaccination Clinics

(November 20, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health will be offering free H1N1 flu vaccinations to county residents at five locations on Saturday, December 5th. This is the second round of public H1N1 vaccination clinics in Saint Louis County. Due to an increased supply of vaccine, the department will be targeting a larger number of residents than previously.


“This will be another great opportunity for those in a priority group to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Michael P. Williams, Director of Communicable Disease Control Services for the County Health Department. “And now that the supply has increased, we will not only have more vaccine available at each of our events, but we will be able to target a larger group of residents than previously.”


The five priority groups being targeted for the December 5th events are:


Square

pregnant women;

Square

youth from 6 months of age through 24 years of age;

Square

caregivers of and those who live with infants under the age of 6 months;

Square

adults from 25 years of age through 64 years of age with an underlying health condition that makes them more susceptible to flu complications; and

Square

emergency medical service personnel and healthcare workers.


Those wishing to be vaccinated will need to obtain a line ticket from one of the five clinic locations prior to being admitted. A drive-through distribution area for handing out line tickets will be set up at each of the five locations. Line tickets will be available at each location starting at 7:00 a.m. The vaccinations will be administered between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


At least 15,000 doses of vaccine will be available at the Saturday clinics – 3,000 at each of the five sites. A mixture of H1N1 shots and intranasal mist will be available at each site. Because of limited supplies, it will not be possible to honor individual preferences. The type of vaccine used will be based on what is medically appropriate for each patient.


The five clinic locations on December 5th are:


  Ferguson-Florissant School District Administration Building
1005 Waterford Drive
Florissant, MO 63033

Kirkwood High School
801 West Essex Avenue
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Parkway-Central High School
369 North Woods Mill Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Ritenour High School
9100 Saint Charles Rock Road
Breckenridge Hills, MO 63114

Rockwood-Summit High School
1780 Hawkins Road
Fenton, MO 63026

The vaccination events are for the residents of Saint Louis County, and proof of residency may be required, such as a driver’s license or a utility bill. Participants are asked to consider wearing clothing that will allow easy arm access to help speed the process.


Adults and youth aged 10 and over require one dose of vaccine to achieve immunity; children under 10 years of age require two doses, spaced at least four (4) weeks apart.


“For those with children under the age of 10 who need two doses, this will be a great chance to get that second booster dose needed for full immunity,” said Dr. Williams.


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


Priority Groups Expanded as More H1N1 Vaccine Becomes Available

(November 17, 2009) Due to an increase in the availability of H1N1 vaccine, the Saint Louis County Department of Health is now able to offer it to an expanded list of priority groups. All youth from 6 months of age through 24 years of age and adults aged 25 through 64 with underlying medical conditions are now included in the list of priority groups being offered the H1N1 vaccine.


“As expected, we are now able to expand our efforts to target a broader range of people because of an increase in supply,” said Dr. Michael P. Williams, director of Communicable Disease Control Services for the county health department.


“Our eventual goal is to make the vaccine available to all county residents who want it, and this is an important step in that direction,” Williams added.


The health department has already received 121,400 doses of H1N1 vaccine and is expecting another 10,400 doses this week. Since early October, the department has been distributing the vaccine to schools, doctors, hospitals, clinics, and emergency responder agencies. In addition, more than 5,400 county residents were vaccinated at five public vaccination events at area high schools in November.


The current CDC-identified priority groups include the following:


  1) Pregnant women;
  2) Youth 6 months of age through 24 years of age;
  3) Persons who live with or care for infants less than 6 months of age;
  4) Adults from 24 through 64 years of age who have underlying medical conditions
    that increase their risk of developing flu-related illnesses if they get sick;
  5) Emergency responder and healthcare workers.

The health department will continue to distribute H1N1 vaccine to schools, physicians, hospitals, and clinics over the next several weeks. In addition, a second round of public H1N1 vaccination events will be held on Saturday, December 5th. Details about these events will be made public once they are finalized.


In the meantime, there are basic precautions everyone can take to prevent catching and spreading both the seasonal and the H1N1 flu:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

Keep a distance of three feet between you and other people.

Square

Stay home if you are sick (or keep your children home if they are sick).

Square

Go home if you become sick (or pick your children up from school early if they become sick).


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


Health Department Vaccinates Thousands against H1N1 Virus

(November 7, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health vaccinated 5,446 area residents against the H1N1 virus Saturday. More than 75,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been made available to the community in the past few weeks.


“We are very pleased that so many people took the time to get the vaccine to protect themselves and their families,” said Health Department Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn.


St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley said the vaccinations were a major development in dealing with the H1N1 virus.


“This is the most serious health issue to ever face St. Louis County and the health department is implementing a plan to provide free vaccine to every resident who wants it,” Dooley said.


The vaccine was offered at five St. Louis County High Schools: Hazelwood West High School, Lafayette High School, Lindbergh High School, Jennings High School and Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School.


The next public vaccinations will be available Saturday, Dec. 5 at Hazelwood West High School, Ritenour High School, Rockwood-Summit High School, Parkway Central High School and Kirkwood High School.


Gunn said the vaccination clinics were a success because of the volunteer efforts by Monsanto Co. employees, students from The Saint Louis University School of Nursing; The University of Missouri St. Louis –School of Nursing; The Saint Louis Community College ; The Goldfarb School of Nursing ; United Health Care and the health department’s Medical Reserve Corps.


“These volunteers joined with our dedicated employees to provide a needed medical service to the community,” Gunn said.


The vaccinations are being offered first to these priority groups/


Square

Pregnant women

Square

Children from 6 months of age through 4 years of age

Square

Caregivers of and those who live with infants under the age of 6 months

Square

Youth from 5 years of age through 18 years of age with an underlying health condition that makes them more susceptible to flu complication

Square

Emergency medical service personnel and healthcare workers.


Dr. Gunn emphasized that the priority group restrictions will be eased once more vaccine has been received. “Everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to do so eventually,” she said.


More than 75,000 vaccine doses have been distributed by the health department thus far.


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


Line Tickets Needed to Attend County H1N1 Vaccination Events

(November 5, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health will use a line-ticket system at the five public H1N1 vaccination sites on Saturday, November 7th. Those wanting to be immunized will first need to get a line ticket before being allowed into the clinic.


“The supply of H1N1 vaccine is very limited right now, so we needed a system to make sure that people don’t wait in line all day only to be told there is nothing left,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “There will be only one line ticket for each dose of available vaccine.”


Line tickets will be handed out at each of the five H1N1 vaccination sites starting at 7:00 a.m. Each line ticket will designate either the morning (a.m.) session or the afternoon (p.m.) session. One member of a family may also pick up line tickets for other members of his or her family. The vaccinations themselves will be given from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) has identified five priority groups that are at a particularly high risk from H1N1 flu, either because they are at a higher risk of contracting the flu, or because they are at a higher risk of developing flu-related complications if they do get sick. The five groups are:


Square

Pregnant women;

Square

Children from 6 months of age through 4 years of age;

Square

Caregivers of and those who live with infants under the age of 6 months;

Square

Youth from 5 years of age through 18 years of age with an underlying health condition that makes
them more susceptible to flu complications; and

Square

Emergency medical service personnel and healthcare workers.


The events will be held at five area high schools. Those five schools are:


Hazelwood West High School
1 Wildcat Lane
Hazelwood, MO 63042

Jennings High School
8850 Cozens Avenue
Jennings, MO 63136
(Parking for the Jennings location will be at 8960 Jennings Station Road; however, participants
will first need to pick up a line ticket at the high school.)

Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63038

Lindbergh High School
4900 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63126

Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School
(Line ticket distribution and parking for the Maplewood location will be at the parking lot of the
Sunnen Products Company, located at 16 Sunnen Drive, Maplewood, MO 63143.)

Future H1N1 vaccination clinics are being planned for December and January. In the interim, the County Health Department will continue to distribute vaccine to schools, OB/GYNs, pediatricians, hospitals, and clinics to address the needs of the CDC-identified priority groups.


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


County Health Department Offering Free H1N1 Vaccinations at Five Public Clinics

(November 4, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health will be offering free H1N1 flu vaccinations to county residents at five area high schools on Saturday, November 7th.


“Although the vaccine supply is still far below what we need, we have now received enough to announce our first round of free H1N1 vaccination clinics for Saint Louis County residents,” said County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.


Added Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department, “Because of the very limited supply we have at this time, preference will be given to those falling into one of the five high priority groups identified by the CDC.”


Those five (5) high priority groups are:


Square

pregnant women;

Square

children from 6 months of age through 4 years of age;

Square

caregivers of and those who live with infants under the age of 6 months;

Square

youth from 5 years of age through 18 years of age with an underlying health condition that makes them more susceptible to flu complications; and

Square

emergency medical service personnel and healthcare workers.


Those wishing to be vaccinated will need to obtain a line ticket from one of the five clinic locations prior to being vaccinated. Line tickets will be available at each location starting at 7:00 a.m. The vaccinations will be administered between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


At least 10,000 doses of vaccine will be available for the Saturday clinics – 2,000 at each of the five sites. A mixture of H1N1 shots and FluMist® will be available at each site, but because of limited supplies, it will not be possible to honor individual preferences. The type of vaccine used will be based on what is medically appropriate for each patient. Participants are asked to consider wearing clothing that will allow easy arm access to help speed the process.


The vaccination events are for the residents of Saint Louis County, and proof of residency may be required, such as a driver’s license or a utility bill.


A drive-through distribution area for handing out line tickets will be set up at each of the five locations. There will be two vaccination sessions and line tickets will designate admission to either a morning session or an afternoon session.


The five free H1N1 vaccination clinics on Saturday will be held at:


Hazelwood West High School
1 Wildcat Lane
Hazelwood, MO 63042

Jennings High School
8850 Cozens Avenue
Jennings, MO 63136
(Parking for the Jennings location will be at 8960 Jennings Station Road; however,
participants will first need to pick up a line ticket at the high school.)

Lafayette High School
17050 Clayton Road
Wildwood, MO 63038

Lindbergh High School
4900 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63126

Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School
(Line ticket distribution and parking for the Maplewood location will be at the parking
lot of the Sunnen Products Company, located at 16 Sunnen Drive, Maplewood, MO 63143.)

Dr. Gunn emphasized that the priority group restrictions will be eased once more vaccine has been received. “Everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to do so eventually,” said Dr. Gunn.


Future H1N1 vaccination clinics are being planned for December and January. In the interim, the County Health Department will continue to distribute vaccine to schools, OB/GYNs, pediatricians, hospitals, and clinics to address the needs of the CDC-identified priority groups.


For more information, please visit the Health Department’s flu website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


County Health Department Distributing Three Types of New H1N1 Flu Vaccine

(October 22, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health has been receiving three different versions of the new H1N1 flu vaccine – each one designed for a specific use. The health department will be distributing the vaccine according to the guidelines established for each of the three versions.


“There are three main types of H1N1 flu vaccine and each type is not right for everyone,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. “Having said that, it is important to remember that there will eventually be enough vaccine for everyone who wants to be vaccinated against the H1N1 flu.”


The three main types are: 1) the regular injectable H1N1 flu vaccine; 2) the preservative-free injectable H1N1 flu vaccine; and 3) the intranasal FluMist®.


The most common form of the vaccine – the regular injectable H1N1 flu vaccine – will be used to vaccinate those who are three (3) years of age or older, unless they are pregnant or have an allergy to one of the components of the vaccine (such as eggs).


The preservative-free injectable H1N1 flu vaccine will be used to vaccinate pregnant women and children between the ages of six (6) months and three (3) years of age (again, unless they have an allergy to one of the components of the vaccine). Current Missouri law prohibits giving vaccine with preservative in it to pregnant women or children under the age of three.


The third kind is the intranasal FluMist® that is sprayed directly into the nose. It will only be used to vaccinate people from two (2) years of age through 49 years of age, unless they are pregnant, have an underlying health condition such as asthma or diabetes, or are allergic to one of the components of the FluMist® vaccine.


The two injectable forms of the vaccine contain a dead version of the H1N1 virus, whereas the intranasal FluMist® contains a small amount of weakened live virus. All flu vaccine currently available in the United States has been manufactured using eggs and is not recommended for those who have an allergy to eggs.


The health department has received 32,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine to date: 13,500 regular injectable doses; 3,000 preservative-free injectable doses; and 15,500 doses of intranasal FluMist®. The department is in the process of distributing those doses to ensure that the priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) are the first to be offered the vaccine. Those priority groups are:



Square

pregnant woman;

Square

children and young adults six (6) months old through 24 years of age;

Square

caregivers for infants under the age of six (6) months;

Square

adults aged 25 through 64 with medical conditions that put them at risk for influenza-related complications; and

Square

health care workers and emergency medical service workers.


The health department expects to continue receiving shipments of H1N1 vaccine until enough has arrived to vaccinate everyone in Saint Louis County who chooses to be vaccinated.


Regardless of which type of vaccine a person chooses to receive, the CDC has determined that one (1) dose is sufficient to trigger an immunity to H1N1 flu in those ten (10) years old and older. Children under the age of ten (10) will need either two shots or two doses of FluMist® given at least four weeks apart in order to develop an immunity.


The health department has been working with St. John’s Mercy and SSM DePaul Health Center to set up two H1N1 vaccination clinics for pregnant women on Saturday, October 31st. Both events will run from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Because of the limited quantity of preservative-free vaccine, preregistration is required.


To preregister for the event at SSM DePaul Health Center, registrants will need to call 1-866-SSM-DOCS (776-3627) or visit www.SSMHealth.com on the web.


To preregister for the event at St. John’s Mercy, registrants will need to call 1-866-891-6685 or visit www.StJohnsMercy.org/H1N1 on the web.


In order to make the vaccine available to the other priority groups on the CDC list, the county health department has been working with public and private K-12 schools, local colleges and universities, and OB/GYNs and pediatricians to set up distribution systems.


The department is also setting up public H1N1 vaccination events to make the vaccine available to those who have not been able to receive it through an OB/GYN, a pediatrician, or a participating school. The dates, times, and locations for these public events will be announced once enough vaccine has been received.


“It is important to remember that everyone who wants a vaccination will be able to get one,” Gunn said. “It is not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when.’ There will be enough vaccine for everyone.”


The county health department also continues to stress that until enough vaccine is available, the primary weapon available to fight the new H1N1 flu virus is prevention:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

Use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Square

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; if you do touch them, wash your hands.

Square

Keep a distance of at least three (3) feet between you and other people.


Those who do get sick should go home and stay home until any illness has passed. Once a fever has broken, people should still stay at home until they can maintain a normal temperature for at least 24 hours without the use of any fever reducing medicine.


For more information about the H1N1 vaccine, updates on where to get vaccinated, or for more general information about the flu – both the seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu – please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website or the CDC’s H1N1 website:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu


Saint Louis County Department of Health Announces Free H1N1 Vaccination Events for Pregnant Women

(October 19, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health, in conjunction with St. John’s Mercy Children’s Hospital and SSM DePaul Health Center, will be offering free H1N1 flu vaccinations for pregnant residents of Saint Louis County on Saturday, October 31st. There will be events at two locations that day, both running from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.


“Pregnant women are one of the groups identified by the CDC as being at particular risk from the new H1N1 virus and we want to make sure that they are among the first in the community to be offered the vaccine,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


The two October 31st vaccination clinics for pregnant women will be at the following locations:


St. John’s Mercy: SSM DePaul Health Center:
David C. Pratt Cancer Center May Center
607 South New Ballas Road 12303 DePaul Drive
Creve Coeur, Missouri  63141 Bridgeton, Missouri  63044

Quantities of the H1N1 vaccine are limited, so participants will need to preregister in order to participate. Pre-registration can be completed online or by phone. The events are limited to residents of Saint Louis County.


To preregister for the event at SSM DePaul Health Center, registrants will need to call 1-866-SSM-DOCS (776-3627) or visit www.SSMHealth.com on the web.


To preregister for the event at St. John’s Mercy, registrants will need to call 1-866-891-6685 or visit www.StJohnsMercy.org/H1N1 on the web.


The October 31st vaccination clinics are part of the county health department’s efforts to channel the H1N1 vaccine to the CDC-identified priority groups first. The department has also been working with OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and both public and private schools in Saint Louis County to ensure that the new vaccine reaches those in priority groups:


Square

pregnant woman;

Square

children and young adults six (6) months old through 24 years of age;

Square

caregivers for infants under the age of six (6) months; and

Square

adults aged 25 through 64 with medical conditions that put them at risk for influenza-related complications.


The health department emphasizes that eventually everyone will have an opportunity to be vaccinated.


“Despite our initial focus on the most vulnerable groups, it is important to remember that everyone who wants a vaccination will eventually be able to get one,” Gunn said. “It is not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when.’ There will be enough vaccine for everybody that wants it.”


For more information about the flu – both the seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu – please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website or the CDC’s H1N1 website:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason and www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu


County Residents Can “Go Green” with Proper Disposal of Household Chemicals

(October 7, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health is sponsoring three free events for Saint Louis County residents to drop off unwanted household chemicals this fall.


“Many residents are unsure about what to do with leftover household chemicals. By bringing these materials to our events, residents can be assured that they will be disposed of safely and pose no harm to themselves, their families, or the environment,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


For the twelfth year in a row, the County Health Department is offering an environmentally safe alternative for household chemical disposal through its fall household chemical collection events. The drop-off events will be held on three Saturdays: October 17th, November 14th, and November 21st. The events are free and open to all Saint Louis County residents. They will run from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., regardless of weather. Directions and event maps can be found at www.RecycleSaintLouis.com.



Saturday, October 17th South County Center (formerly Westfield Shoppingtown - South County) (The event will be held south of the Dillard's and Sears stores. Enter from Lemay Ferry Road just south of South Lindbergh Boulevard.)

Saturday, November 14th The Town and Country Campus of Westminster Christian Academy (The campus SOUTH of Highway 40 - NOT the Ladue Road campus!) 800 Maryville Centre Drive (The campus is located just south of Highway 40. From westbound Highway 40, exit at Maryville Centre Drive and turn left.)

Saturday, November 21st St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley Campus (Enter the campus from Pershall Road just east of the I-270 and Elizabeth Avenue exit. Follow the event signs to the drop-off location.)

Dr. Gunn added that the household chemical collection program is very popular with residents. The handling of chemical products often requires special disposal and recycling methods, and residents should always ensure that such chemicals are properly disposed of. However, even more important than recycling old household chemicals is to reduce the amount of waste generated.


“We recommend that residents avoid creating excess materials in the first place,” said Laura Yates, Environmental Supervisor. “Consumers should buy only what they need and they should use products up entirely.”


The cost for the household chemical events is covered by the Saint Louis County landfill surcharge fund. Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or tax bill, will be required.


For more information, please call the Department of Health at (314) 615-4130 or visit their website at www.RecycleSaintLouis.com.


ACCEPTABLE MATERIALS: Paints, stains, varnishes, pesticides, herbicides, poisons, gasoline and other fuels, solvents and strippers, aerosols, motor oil and filters, gas cylinders (BBQ-pit size or smaller), fluorescent tubes, rechargeable batteries, anti-freeze, brake and transmission fluids, pool chemicals and other acids and bases, car batteries, wood preservatives, driveway sealant, liquid mercury and items containing mercury (such as thermometers, thermostats, and mercuric salts).

UNACCEPTABLE MATERIALS: Consumer electronics, explosives and ammunition, radioactive waste, smoke detectors, medical waste, household trash, tires and other bulky items.

Materials from business, commercial, non-profit and government organizations are also prohibited.


High Flu Numbers Already Reported in Saint Louis County as Traditional Start of Flu Season Arrives

(October 1, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health is already reporting high flu numbers, even though it is only October 1st – the traditional start of the annual flu season.


“Because we anticipated higher numbers this year, the department started its flu surveillance earlier than usual,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Health Department. “We normally don’t start flu surveillance until the first week of October and usually don’t see our first flu cases until late October or early November.”


This year, the Health Department started flu surveillance during the first week of September and quickly found that flu was already prevalent in the community. There were 51 flu cases reported during the first surveillance week, which ended on September 6th. The three following weeks have seen increasingly higher numbers:


Weekly Flu Report

 
Week #1, ending 9/6/2009: 51 new flu cases reported
Week #2, ending 9/13/2009: 108 new flu cases reported (for a total of 159 cases for the season)
Week #3, ending 9/20/2009: 119 new flu cases reported (for a total of 278 cases for the season)
Week #4, ending 9/27/2009: 217 new flu cases reported (for a total of 495 cases for the season)

“In reality, the flu never went away over the summer as it normally does. Now that school is back in session and the weather is growing colder, we are seeing our flu numbers rise again,” said Dr. Gunn.


The health department emphasizes that surveillance numbers only represent a portion of the actual flu cases in the area. The real numbers are likely much higher. Since most flu cases are not treated in hospitals or clinics, they do not get included in the surveillance totals. Instead, the numbers collected serve as an indicator of disease prevalence in the community and are used by the health department to track how it is moving through the population.


“What we know at this point is that the flu is definitely here and in numbers much higher than we normally see this early in the season,” said Dr. Gunn.


During the 2006-2007 flu season, a total of 1,121 flu cases were reported for the entire season; during the 2007-2008 season, a total of 3,550 flu cases were reported; and during the 2009-2009 flu season, a total of 1,176 flu cases were reported. As mentioned earlier, there have already been 495 flu cases reported for the 2009-2010 season.


A vaccine for the new H1N1 flu is expected to begin arriving in the Saint Louis area within the next several weeks. Once it is available, information on where to be vaccinated against the new H1N1 virus will be announced by the health department.


“The most important thing to remember is that until the vaccine for the new H1N1 flu arrives, our focus has to be on prevention,” said Dr. Gunn. “So follow the standard recommendations, and if you haven’t already gotten your seasonal flu shot or seasonal flu mist, please do so.”


To find out where to go for seasonal flu vaccinations, call the Flu Vaccination Hotline or visit the Saint Louis County Flu website:


314-644-4FLU (4358)


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason



Added Dr. Gunn, “It’s not just about protecting yourself. If you don’t catch the flu, you can’t spread the flu.”


The standard flu precautions being urged by the county health department are:


Square

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Square

Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve.

Square

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Square

Try to maintain a distance of three feet between you and others.

Square

Stay home when you are sick or think you may be getting sick.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) recommends that anyone who gets the flu or experiences flu-like symptoms remain at home until they are able to maintain a normal temperature for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine such as Tylenol® or Motrin®.


During previous flu seasons, between 15 and 60 million Americans were infected by seasonal flu each year, and each year over 200,000 of them were hospitalized and around 36,000 of them died. With the presence of the new H1N1 virus, totals are expected to be higher this flu season.


The health department’s weekly flu report is available online at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


County Health Department Urges Residents to Get a Seasonal Flu Vaccine

(September 17, 2009) Flu season has arrived and the Saint Louis County Department of Health is urging that all residents be vaccinated against the seasonal flu – especially those most vulnerable such as the elderly and young children.


Yesterday, County Executive Charlie A. Dooley and Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health, were both vaccinated against the seasonal flu at an event highlighting the importance and ease of being vaccinated.


“It’s not just about protecting yourself. If you don’t catch the flu, then you can’t spread the flu,” said Dr. Gunn.


To find out where to go for seasonal flu vaccinations (or to find more information about the seasonal flu), call the Seasonal Flu Vaccination Hotline or visit the Saint Louis County Flu website:


314-644-4FLU (4358)


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


Depending on the severity of the outbreak, between 15 and 60 million Americans are infected by seasonal flu each flu season. Over 200,000 people are hospitalized every year due to flu-related complications, and around 36,000 of them die. The populations most vulnerable to the flu are the elderly and young children.


Other standard precautions being urged by the County Health Department are:


Square

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Square

Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve.

Square

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Square

Try to maintain a distance of three feet between you and others.

Square

Stay home when you are sick or think you may be getting sick.



County Health Department Warns Rabid Bats Pose Threat to Unvaccinated Pets

(September 14, 2009) The recent attack by a rabid bat on an unvaccinated cat is a reminder that owners should safeguard their household pets by making sure they are protected against rabies, according to the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


An unvaccinated cat that belonged to a Wildwood resident was euthanized recently after it was bitten by a rabid bat.


“We all care deeply for our pets and it’s important to protect them against rabies,” said Saint Louis County Health Department Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn. `“Unfortunately, there is no test that can be performed on a live cat or dog to determine if it has rabies.” Gunn said. County ordinances require that domestic dogs and cats be licensed and vaccinated.


A bat should not be touched or released if it is discovered in a residential area. County animal control officers will pick up a bat at no charge if it is discovered in a home so it can be tested for rabies.


Residents should not attempt to capture a live bat but should confine it to the room where it is discovered so animal control officers can collect it for rabies testing. During business hours, county residents should call 314-831-6500. After business hours, and on weekends and holidays, residents should call Saint Louis County Police at 314-889-2341.


Never release a bat found in a home if it was present while people were sleeping or in the same room with children or adults who, due to health or age, may not be able to describe the extent of their exposure.


“It’s important that a bat that may have bitten a human be tested for rabies as soon as possible,” said Dr. Gunn. “If the bat is released or disposed of, it is very difficult to determine if a person could have been exposed to rabies.”


The health department has tested 479 bats this year and 19 were rabid.


For more information about pet vaccinations, visit www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness and click on Animal Control.


County Health Department Urges Employers to Be Ready for Flu Season

(September 10, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health is urging local employers to be ready for a potentially difficult flu season. The combination of seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu could result in high absenteeism and the department is asking employers to join the fight against the flu.


“There are many positive steps that businesses can take to help protect their employees and customers” said County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. “We are advising employers not to wait for an outbreak of seasonal flu or the new H1N1 flu to develop a plan for disruptions that might be caused by illness in their workforce.”


The health department is urging employers to start planning now for worker absenteeism during the approaching flu season – both because employees may become sick and because they may have sick children to care for.


“Employees who have the flu can infect other employees or customers and should stay at home until they are able to maintain a normal temperature for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever reducer,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


The health department recognizes that high absenteeism can be difficult for businesses to handle and advises that all businesses take basic precautions to keep their workforce healthy.


Restroom supplies should be kept fully stocked – both for customers and employees – and employees should have regular access to such facilities in order to wash their hands with soap and water. Alternatively, alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be made available for employee use. It is also recommended that all commonly touched surfaces be cleaned regularly to avoid spreading illness.


Employers are also urged to consider public health when establishing employee sick leave policies.


“It is better to let a sick employee have a few extra days off than to have that employee infect the rest of your workforce,” said Dr. Gunn.


The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention further recommends that businesses and organizations consider the following:


Square

Reviewing or establishing a flexible flu plan and involving employees in developing or reviewing the plan.

Square

Knowing your business’s or organization’s normal seasonal absenteeism rate and monitoring for any unusual increases in absenteeism through the fall and winter.

Square

Allowing sick workers to stay home without fear of losing their jobs.

Square

Developing other flexible leave policies to allow workers to stay home to care for sick family members, or for children if schools dismiss students or child care programs close;

Square

Recommending that parents not bring their children to work with them if they are sick or while schools are dismissed.


For more information about the seasonal flu or the new H1N1 flu, please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason


Or visit the CDC’s new H1N1 flu website at:


www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu


Saint Louis County Department of Health Prepares for the New H1N1 Flu Vaccine

(August 27, 2009) Pregnant women, children, and young adults will be given first priority when the new H1N1 vaccine arrives, said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. Everyone in Saint Louis County who wants to be vaccinated will have that opportunity once all the doses have arrived, Gunn said.


“We expect to receive the first shipment of New H1N1 vaccine in mid to late October and preparations are well underway to handle the distribution,” Dr. Gunn said.


Although the federal government has ordered doses of the new H1N1 influenza vaccine for all Americans, the entire order will not arrive at the same time. There will be an initial shipment distributed throughout the United States, followed by regular shipments thereafter until everyone who wants to be vaccinated against the new H1N1 virus has been vaccinated.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) has issued guidelines regarding who should be eligible to be vaccinated first. Initial vaccinations will focus on those populations most vulnerable to this particular influenza strain.


The specific groups that will be eligible to receive vaccinations during the first round include:


Square

pregnant woman;

Square

children and young adults six (6) months old through 24 years of age;

Square

caregivers for infants under the age of six (6) months; and

Square

adults aged 25 through 64 with medical conditions that put them at risk for influenza-related complications.


Also included in the first round will be health care workers and emergency medical service workers to ensure that they are not spreading the virus to the patients they treat.


“Despite the initial focus on the most vulnerable groups, it is important to remember that everyone who wants a vaccination will be able to get one,” Gunn said. “It is not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when.’ There will be enough vaccine for everyone.”


The County Health Department is also stressing that until a vaccine is available, the only weapon available to fight the new H1N1 flu virus is prevention.


“Right now, we are playing defense. We don’t yet have a vaccine for the new H1N1 virus, so we are focusing our message on prevention,” said Dr. Mike Williams, Director of the County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Control program. “Once we have a vaccine for the new flu, we’ll go on offense, but until then, we have to heed the common sense warnings our parents and grandparents taught us.”


The precautions currently recommended by the department to avoid both the seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu include:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

Use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Square

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; if you do touch them, wash your hands.

Square

Keep a distance of at least three feet between you and other people.


Those who do get sick should go home and stay home. It is important that sick people distance themselves from others – even members of their own family – in order to minimize the chances of spreading the illness. It is also a good idea to keep a supply of essentials on hand this season so that if you or your children do become sick, you won’t need to make a trip to the store – you’ll already have what you need at home.


Children and adults should stay home from school or work until any illness has passed. Once a fever has broken, people should still stay home until they can maintain a normal temperature for at least 24 hours without the use of any fever reducing medicine.


For more information about the flu – both the seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu – please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website or the CDC’s H1N1 website:



Flu Prevention Emphasized as Kids Head Back to School

(August 19, 2009) As children head back to school – especially with the presence of the new H1N1 flu virus – the Saint Louis County Department of Health is reminding parents and guardians how best to avoid the flu, and what to do if they or their children come down with the flu.


“Because we don’t have a vaccine for the new H1N1 flu yet, we have to rely on the common sense precautions we learned as kids to stop the spread of germs,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “Unfortunately, kids are excellent germ spreaders, so we have to make sure to teach them safe behaviors and good hygiene.”


In addition to the new H1N1 flu that arrived in May, the seasonal flu is expected to return over the next few months as well. Although these two different types of flu are transmitted in similar ways and have similar symptoms, there are some real differences worth noting:


Square

The new H1N1 flu is highly contagious and can spread very rapidly through a population.

Square

Unlike the seasonal flu, which tends to affect seniors and the very young, the new H1N1 flu primarily affects young adults, especially those under 25 years of age.

Square

Unlike the seasonal flu, there is currently no vaccine for the new H1N1 flu, although one is expected sometime this fall.


“Right now, we are playing defense. We don’t have a vaccine for the new H1N1 virus yet, so we are focusing our message on prevention,” said Dr. Mike Williams, Director of the County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Control program. “When we have a vaccine for the new flu later this year, we’ll go on offense, but until then, we have to heed the common sense warnings our parents and grandparents used to tell us.”


The precautions currently recommended by the department to avoid both the seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu include:


Square

Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.

Square

Wash your hands regularly, especially after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.

Square

If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Square

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible; wash your hands if you do touch them.

Square

Keep a distance of at least three feet between you and other people.


If you or your children do get sick, go home and stay home. It is important that you distance yourself from other people – even people within your own family – in order to keep your contact with others to a minimum. It is also a good idea to keep a supply of essentials on hand this season so that if you or your children do become sick, you won’t need to make a trip to the store – you’ll already have what you need at home.


Children should be kept out of school until any illness has passed. Once their fever has broken, they should still be kept at home until they can maintain a normal temperature for at least 24 hours without the use of any fever reducing medicine.


For more information about seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu, please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness


For additional information about the new H1N1 flu from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please visit their website:


www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu


Saint Louis County Highlights Its Three Health Centers during National Health Center Week

(August 13, 2009) National Health Center Week runs from August 9th through August 15th, and the Saint Louis County Department of Health is using the opportunity to highlight its three health centers.


“Nationwide, health centers play a vital role in protecting public health, and we are quite fortunate in Saint Louis County because our local Health Department operates three health centers that any county resident can visit to meet their primary healthcare needs,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department.


Added Dr. Gunn, “It doesn’t matter if you have a job or health insurance – if you are a resident of Saint Louis County, you can access the services offered by our health centers.”


Nationwide there are 44 million people without insurance and another 56 million who, although they may have insurance, live in areas without doctors or basic health services. One of the focuses of National Health Center Week is to raise awareness of the critical need for primary health care services.


In Saint Louis County, however, access to care is much less of an issue, because the County Health Centers are available to every resident, regardless of ability to pay. All that is required is proof of residency, and, to be eligible for the sliding-scale payment plan, documentation of income.


The three health centers operated by the County Health Department are located, and can be contacted, as follows:


  1)      John C. Murphy Health Center
         6065 Helen Avenue
         Berkeley, MO 63134
         (314) 522-6410

2)      North Central Community Health Center
         4000 Jennings Station Road
         Pine Lawn, MO 63121
         (314) 679-7800

3)      South County Health Center
         4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard
         Sunset Hills, MO 63127
         (314) 615-0400

Saint Louis County residents can access many different primary care services at the three health centers, including pediatric services, adult medicine, women’s health services, eye care, foot care, STD testing and counseling, dental services, health education classes, immunizations, and WIC services.


A complete list of available services at the Saint Louis County Health Centers can be found on the following website:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/HealthCentersandMedicalServices/CountyHealthCenters


Each year, National Health Center Week is a time set aside to recognize the more than 1,200 health centers serving more than 18 million people in nearly 7,000 urban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The important role they play in protecting the public health by providing affordable, high quality, cost-effective healthcare for people of all backgrounds and ages is integral to the overall success of American healthcare.


This year’s national theme is: “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Where ACCESS and QUALITY CARE Begin.”


Throughout the nation, health centers provide many important benefits to society by filling critical gaps in the nation’s overall healthcare system. They often serve the working poor, the uninsured, the medically underserved, and many high-risk and vulnerable populations.


As part of National Health Center Week, the Saint Louis County Health Department will also be putting together a “Provider of the Month” campaign to highlight the many health professionals that provide medical services at the three County Health Centers throughout the year.


Each month, a particular provider will be recognized and highlighted at each of the three health centers. The first recognitions will start in September and three new providers will be highlighted every month thereafter.


For more information about the Saint Louis County Department of Health, please visit the following website:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness


For more information about National Health Center Week, please visit the following website:


www.healthcenterweek.org


County Health Department Urges Certain People to Get a Pneumonia Vaccination to Avoid a Common Complication of the Flu

(August 10, 2009) The 2009-2010 flu season may be more severe than usual, especially given the continued presence of the new H1N1 virus (also called “swine flu”). In order to reduce the risk of flu-related complications this season, the Saint Louis County Department of Health is urging certain residents to get a pneumonia vaccination.


“One of the most serious threats posed by the flu, particularly among the elderly and small children, is pneumonia,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. “As public attention focuses on the new H1N1 virus and the approaching flu season, we are urging certain people to get a pneumonia vaccination, or a booster if their current vaccination is more than five (5) years old.”


Pneumonia is an infection of one or both lungs and some forms of pneumonia can be prevented by the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumonia vaccinations are recommended for adults 65 years of age or older and for children under the age of five (5). Vaccinations are also recommended for persons with underlying health issues such as diabetes or heart disease.


“I want to be clear that the pneumonia vaccine is not a substitute for the new H1N1 vaccine or the seasonal flu vaccine – it will not prevent the flu,” said Dr. Gunn. “Also, the pneumococcal vaccine is not recommended for everyone. The health department is urging residents to talk with their medical provider about getting a vaccination or a booster for a previous vaccination.”


For a complete list of CDC recommendations concerning the pneumococcal vaccine, please visit the following website:


http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/ppsv_h1n1.htm


The Summer Heat Is Back! The County Health Department Urges Caution during Extreme Heat

(August 7, 2009) After a relatively cool July, the heat of summer is returning and the Saint Louis County Health Department strongly urges continued caution and common sense during this new period of extreme heat.


“Saint Louis experiences periods of extreme heat every year and it is important to observe common sense precautions whenever this happens,” said Dr. Dolores Gunn, Director of the Health Department.


Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the Health Department recommends the following:


Square

Turn on the air conditioning to cool the air. Fans do not cool the air – they only move it around.

Square

Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.

Square

Spend as little time as possible in the sun.

Square

Keep activity levels to a minimum.

Square

Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.

Square

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Square

Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.

Square

Do not leave food unrefrigerated – food spoils more rapidly in the heat.

Square

Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly – especially young children and the elderly. Check on your neighbors and relatives if they are vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.

Square

Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.

Square

Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!


Operation Weather Survival, a public and private collaboration, manages a network of cooling centers around the region. People needing a cool place to go are urged to visit one. To find a cool location, call the United Way by dialing 211 from your home landline, or by calling 1-800-427-4626.


Residents are also urged to consider pets whenever temperatures rise. Here are some tips for protecting pets during hot weather:


Square

Regularly check your pets’ water to make sure it’s clean and fresh. Ample drinking water is vital for animals during hot and humid conditions. Make sure to adjust the drinking quantity for the size and number of pets in the area. You can also spray your pets with water to cool them off.

Square

Provide a shady spot for your pets. A pen near trees will work, or you can fasten a sunroom screen to the sides and top of the pen to provide shade too.

Square

Never leave your pets unattended in a hot vehicle. Internal vehicle temperatures can reach 150 degrees.


Information about heat safety can be found by visiting the Saint Louis County Department of Health website:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/ExtremeSummerHeat


County Health Department Reminds Parents and Guardians to Schedule Back-to-School Immunizations Early

(August 3, 2009) August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and with the back-to-school season just around the corner, the Saint Louis County Department of Health is taking the opportunity to remind parents and guardians to schedule school immunization appointments early.


“In protecting public health, prevention is always the best policy, and nothing compares to immunization when it comes to stopping the spread of disease,” said Dr. Dolores Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “I encourage all parents and guardians to keep up-to-date with their children’s vaccinations. Kids that don’t catch disease can’t spread disease.”


Parents and guardians needing to schedule an appointment for back-to-school immunizations are urged to call their primary care provider as soon as possible. Those without a primary care provider or those unable to schedule an immunization appointment with their primary care provider before the start of school are urged to contact one of the following three County Health Centers to schedule an immunization appointment:


  John C. Murphy Health Center
6065 Helen Avenue
Berkeley, MO 63134
(314) 522-6410

North Central Community Health Center
4000 Jennings Station Road
Pine Lawn, MO 63121
(314) 679-7800

South County Health Center
4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard
Sunset Hills, MO 63127
(314) 615-0400

Additional information about childhood immunizations and the Saint Louis County Department of Health can be found on their website at:


www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness


Additional information about National Immunization Awareness Month can be found on the following website:


www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam/default.htm


Department Receives Applications for Fred Weber Waste Processing Facility and Fred Weber Composting Facility

(July 14, 2009) Fred Weber Inc. has made application to the Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health for two proposed facilities – a compost facility and a waste processing facility – to be located at 2301 Creve Coeur Mill Road, Maryland Heights, Missouri, 63043. The waste processing facility would be adjacent to the sanitary landfill that is located at this address and the composting facility would be located in the permitted area of the landfill.


The legal description of the parcel is as follows: T46N, R5E, Sections 9 and 10 in the Village of Champ, Saint Louis County, Missouri.


In accordance with Chapter 607, Waste Management Code, the Health Department will hold a public hearing on Monday, August 3rd, 2009, at 7:00 p.m., in Room 3 of the Maryland Heights Community Centre, located at 2344 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights, Missouri, 63043. The general public can comment on the new facility permit applications at the public hearing. Questions will not be answered during the hearing.


Written comments addressed to Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Health Department, will be accepted up to ten (10) days after the public hearing (August 13th, 2009). Written comments can be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed to:


  The Saint Louis County Department of Health
Solid Waste Management Program

4562 Lemay Ferry Road
Saint Louis, MO 63129

To review the plans, please make an appointment to view them at the Saint Louis County South Government Center in Keller Plaza, located at 4562 Lemay Ferry Road, Saint Louis, Missouri, 63129 (phone: 314-615-4116); or at the Saint Louis County Health Department, 111 South Meramec Avenue, Clayton, Missouri, 63105 (phone 314-615-8958).


Please contact Jill Allen at 314-615-4130 with any questions or about any accommodations you may need to make the meeting site or information accessible. TTY: 314-615-8428 or 800-735-2966.


Two Heat Related Deaths Reported in Saint Louis County

(June 26, 2009) The Saint Louis County Medical Examiner has confirmed two heat related deaths in the county during the current heat emergency.


In the first incident, a 75-year-old man was found in his Maplewood home Thursday. The room temperature was 96.4 degrees and a front room air conditioner was apparently not working.


In the second incident, a 62-year-old Hillsdale woman was discovered Thursday after neighbors reported that she had not been seen since Monday. The residence was not equipped with air conditioning.


There have been 41 heat-related illnesses since June 21st.


“It is very important to check in regularly with elderly friends, family members, and neighbors, especially when temperatures rise above 95 degrees,” said Dr. Dolores Gunn, Director of the Health Department. “Air conditioners sometimes break down and alternate arrangements need to be made as soon as possible to prevent outcomes like this week’s tragedies.”


If you find yourself in temperatures above 95 degrees, take appropriate precautions such as:


Square

Spending time in an air-conditioned room or building. Even a few hours each day will reduce the danger of heat related complications.

Square

Drinking plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.

Square

Being aware that fans only move the air – they don’t cool it. Sitting directly in front of a fan when it is hotter than 95 degrees will actually heat you up.

Square

Taking a cool shower or bath to bring down your body temperature.

Square

Seeking immediate medical attention if you or someone you know is experiencing heat related symptoms such as nausea, a raised body temperature, or hot, dry skin. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!


Saint Louis County is operating three cooling centers during the current heat emergency. The shelters are open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. They are located at:


  St. Vincent Community Center
7335 St. Charles Rock Road
Saint Louis, MO 63133

Queeny Park
550 Weidman Road
Ballwin, MO 63011

Kennedy Recreation Complex
6050 Wells Road
Saint Louis, MO 63128

Operation Weather Survival, a public and private collaboration, also manages a network of cooling centers around the region. People needing a cool place to go are urged to visit one. To find a cooling center, call the United Way at 1-800-427-4626.


There were no reported heat deaths in 2008.


County Opens Three Cooling Shelters

(June 23, 2009) Three cooling centers have been opened by the Saint Louis County Parks Department for those who need a place to cool off during the current heat emergency. The centers will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. through Wednesday, June 24th, or for as long as the current excessive heat grips the area.


The three cooling centers opened by Saint Louis County are located as follows:


  St. Vincent Community Center
7335 St. Charles Rock Road
Saint Louis, MO 63133

Queeny Park
550 Weidman Road
Ballwin, MO 63011

Kennedy Recreation Complex
6050 Wells Road
Saint Louis, MO 63128

Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the Health Department recommends the following:


Square

Turn on the air conditioning to cool the air.

Square

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Square

Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.

Square

Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.

Square

Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.

Square

Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.

Square

Be sure not to leave food unrefrigerated for long – food spoils rapidly in the heat.

Square

Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly –especially young children and the elderly. Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.

Square

Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.

Square

Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!


Bats Should Be Captured; Not Released

(June 23, 2009) A bat should not be touched or released if it is discovered in a residential area, according to the Saint Louis County Department of Health. County animal control officers will pick up a bat at no charge if it is discovered in a home so it can be tested for rabies.


Residents should not attempt to capture a live bat but should confine it to the room where it is discovered so animal control officers can collect it for rabies testing. During business hours, residents should call 314-831-6500. After business hours, and on weekends and holidays, county residents should call Saint Louis County Police at 314-889-2341.


Never release a bat found in a home if it was present while people were sleeping or in the same room with children or adults who, due to health or age, may not be able to describe the extent of their exposure.


“It’s important that a bat that may have bitten a human be tested for rabies as soon as possible,” said La’Rhonda Garrett-Wheelington DOH Program Manager of Vector Control and Veterinary Services. “If the bat is released or disposed of, it is very difficult to determine if a person could have been exposed to rabies.”


Rabies can be prevented if a person is vaccinated soon after exposure, but there is no cure once symptoms start. A south central Missouri man died from rabies last fall after being bitten by a bat. It was the first reported rabies death in Missouri since 1959.


Bats eat mosquitoes and recent heavy rains have boosted the mosquito population, Garrett-Wheelington said.


Garrett-Wheelington said people should check with their veterinarians on the immunization status of their pets. Because rabies can be readily passed from wild animals to domestic pets, the first line of defense is to make sure all cats and dogs are properly vaccinated, as required by county ordinances.


For more information about pet vaccinations, visit www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness and click on Animal Control.


County Health Department Urges Caution during Extreme Heat

(June 22, 2009) The Saint Louis County Health Department is strongly urging caution and common sense during periods of extreme heat this summer.


“Saint Louis experiences heat waves almost every year and it is important to observe common sense precautions whenever this happens,” said Dr. Dolores Gunn, director of the Health Department.


Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the Health Department recommends the following:


Square

Turn on the air conditioning to cool the air.

Square

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Square

Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.

Square

Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.

Square

Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.

Square

Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.

Square

Be sure not to leave food unrefrigerated for long – food spoils rapidly in the heat.

Square

Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly –especially young children and the elderly. Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.

Square

Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.

Square

Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!


Operation Weather Survival, a public and private collaboration, manages a network of cooling centers around the region. People needing a cool place to go are urged to visit a one. To find a cooling center, call the United Way at 1-800-427-4626.


Residents are also urged to consider pets whenever temperatures rise. Here are some tips for protecting pets during hot weather:


Square

Regularly check a pet’s water to make sure it’s clean and fresh. Ample drinking water is vital to animals during hot and humid conditions. Make sure to adjust the drinking quantity for the size and number of pets in the area. You can also spray your pet with water to cool them off.

Square

Provide a shady spot for pets. A pen near trees will work or you can fasten a sunroom screen to the sides and top of the pen to provide shade too.

Square

Never leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle. Internal vehicle temperatures can reach 150 degrees.



Mosquitoes Test Positive for WNV in St. Louis County; Heavy Rains Boost non-WNV Mosquito Population

(June 15, 2009) West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes have been discovered throughout the county, although no human cases have been reported, according to the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


Positive results have been reported in mosquitoes in several Central County areas, including St. John, Hanley Hills, Bel-Nor and Pagedale.


WNV-carrying mosquitoes have also been discovered in Frontenac, Lemay, Sunset Hills and Jefferson Barracks County Park, Florissant and Mehlville.


“Positive mosquito tests are a reminder that preventative measures are important,” said Saint Louis County Health Department Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn. “Even though serious West Nile Virus cases in humans are rare, it is important to minimize our exposure. We can do this by eliminating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed and multiply and protect ourselves by using repellants,” Dr. Gunn said.


Floodwater mosquitoes, which do not carry WNV, have been emerging in recent weeks and are active in daylight hours as well as being attracted to bright lights at night.


Here are steps residents can take to reduce the opportunities for mosquitoes to flourish:


Square

Flexible drainage pipe is commonly used to drain water from downspouts. A big drawback is that it holds water and breeds mosquitoes if not properly sloped when installed.

Square

At least once a week, drain water from garbage cans, buckets, toys, flowerpots, wading pools, pet dishes, and other objects that can collect water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.

Square

Look for products containing the active ingredient methoprene or Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) to place in birdbaths or ponds, to prevent mosquitoes from developing.

Square

Keep gutters cleaned out, and repair any tears in door and window screens.

Square

Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and light colors outdoors.

Square

Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET or picaridin.


The Health Department routinely collects mosquito samples to test and help determine where to focus control efforts. Vector Control monitors and treats standing water in public areas as part of It’s preventative larviciding program. To find out where the county will be spraying, call 615-4-B-U-G for the nightly mosquito-spraying schedule.


For more information on mosquito prevention, contact the County Vector Control office at 314-727-3097 or log on to www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness


County Health Department Urges Residents Take Usual Precautions to Avoid Flu Following Death of Local Man Infected with 2009 H1N1

(May 19, 2009) The recent death of a Saint Louis County resident infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus (“swine flu”) is a reminder that people should continue to take precautions to avoid a flu infection.


“The Health Department would like to extend its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Health Department. “Situations like this are always tragic – but it serves to remind us that flu is still with us. Until the threat has passed, everyone needs to avoid behavior that can spread the flu. Wash your hands regularly. Cover your sneeze or cough with your sleeve. And if you do get sick, stay home from work or school until you are better.”


This particular case appears to have been more serious than is usual and an investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of death and who else may have been exposed to the virus through contact with the 44-year-old male victim. It is known that the deceased visited Mexico recently and it is presumed that he contracted the virus while there. The Health Department, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will continue to investigate the case, with final results not expected for several weeks.


Since the arrival of 2009 H1N1 in the United States, the county health department has increased its regular surveillance of emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, schools, and pharmacies – all so that any local increase in flu-like symptoms can be identified as soon as possible. The health department has also been in regular contact with DHSS and local health departments to learn of other cases of 2009 H1N1 in the area.


The typical symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu are similar to those of the common flu: fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If a person experiences any of these symptoms – especially a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher – the person should contact a doctor for further evaluation.


Although there is currently no vaccine to prevent 2009 H1N1, there are treatments available. According to Dr. Gunn, “There are two antiviral medications effective in treating 2009 H1N1: Tamiflu® and Relenza®. However, no one should take Tamiflu® or Relenza® unless prescribed by a doctor.”


The health department is also urging county residents to avoid requesting prescription antiviral medications unless they actually have flu-like symptoms. Said Dr. Gunn, “If you develop flu-like symptoms, check with a doctor to see if antivirals are appropriate – but if you don’t have flu-like symptoms, it is unlikely that you have the flu.”


Saint Louis County physicians and hospital emergency rooms have been provided with the latest detailed information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – including the appropriate testing procedures to use when 2009 H1N1 flu is suspected. General precautionary information has also been sent to schools, daycares, businesses, and other local governments.


Although flu-like symptoms usually appear within one (1) to four (4) days after infection, they can emerge as many as seven (7) days after exposure to the virus. Anyone who thinks they may have been infected should contact a medical provider. According to Dr. Gunn, knowledge and common sense are the key: “People can be safe if they take the right steps. Know the possible symptoms. Know what to do if you experience symptoms. And be sure to take all the usual precautions to avoid catching or spreading the flu virus.”


For more information about the 2009 H1N1 flu, please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website for 2009 H1N1 flu at:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason/The2009H1N1Flu.


County Health Department Offers Information about Bats

(May 18, 2009) The warmer weather marks the awakening of bats from hibernation, and the Saint Louis County Department of Health is cautioning residents to avoid handling the animals, since some can carry rabies. Four bats that tested positive for rabies were recovered recently in west and south St. Louis County; University City and Affton.


Any county resident who encounters a live or dead bat in their home is urged to call the health department. Residents should not attempt to capture a live bat but should confine it to the room where it is discovered so animal control officers can collect it for rabies testing.


Never release a bat found in a home if it was present while people were sleeping or in the same room with children or adults who, due to health or age, may not be able to describe the extent of their exposure.


During business hours, residents should call (314) 831-6500. After business hours, and on weekends and holidays, county residents should call Saint Louis County Police at (314) 889-2341.


Last year, 377 bats were tested and 20 had rabies, said La’Rhonda Garrett-Wheelington, DOH Program Manager of Vector Control and Veterinary Services.


Health officials urge people to be aware of and cautious around wildlife, especially bats, and to avoid direct contact with any animal that is behaving strangely. Children should be taught to stay a safe distance away from any unknown animals.


Garrett-Wheelingtion said people should check with their veterinarians on the immunization status of their pets. Because rabies can be readily passed from wild animals to domestic pets, the first line of defense is to make sure all cats and dogs are properly vaccinated, as required by county ordinances. Once transmitted, the disease of rabies has no cure and is almost always fatal.


Most bats don't carry rabies, and in fact perform a beneficial service by eating large quantities of insects. But if one bat in a colony contracts rabies, chances are it will spread to other members of the colony.


For more information about pet vaccinations, visit https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness and click on Animal Control.


County Health Department Urges Parents to Keep Children with Flu Symptoms Out of School

(May 8, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health is urging parents of children with flu-like symptoms to keep them out of school. Two Saint Louis County high school students have been diagnosed with the 2009 H1N1 virus (swine flu).


“Our advice to parents is the same as for any type of contagious illness: the patient should stay home and get plenty of rest,” said Saint Louis County Health Department Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn.


The health department is working closely with all the schools in the county to provide medical information and track any suspected cases. Dr. Gunn recommended that school administrators follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for handling cases of the 2009 H1N1 virus.


The CDC has said that the most recent cases of 2009 H1N1 have almost the same symptoms and outcome as the common flu that occurs during flu season every year. The CDC also recommends that any students, staff, or teachers who become ill simply stay home until better – schools do not need to close. At this point, 2009 H1N1 should be treated no differently that the common flu. Dr. Gunn also cautioned that there is no need for residents to rush out and purchase antiviral medication.


The typical symptoms of 2009 H1N1 are similar to those of the common flu: fever, tiredness, lack of appetite, coughing, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Over the past two weeks, the County Health Department has increased its regular surveillance of emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies – all so that any general increase in flu-like symptoms can be identified as soon as possible. To date, no general increase has been detected. The health department is also in close contact with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and other area health departments to learn of any other suspected or confirmed cases of 2009 H1N1 flu in the region.


The health department is also urging county residents to avoid requesting prescription antiviral medications unless they actually have flu-like symptoms. Said Dr. Gunn, “If you develop flu-like symptoms, check with your doctor to see if antivirals are appropriate – but if you don’t have flu-like symptoms, it is unlikely that you have the flu.”


For more information about the 2009 H1N1 flu, please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website for 2009 H1N1 flu at:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason/The2009H1N1Flu.


Saint Louis County Health Department Responds to Cases of 2009 H1N1 Flu

(May 7, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health is cautioning residents that confirmed cases of 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) in Saint Louis County should not cause anyone to rush out to purchase antiviral medications.


“Anyone who has flu-like symptoms should see a doctor, but at this time there is no indication of a large swine flu outbreak here,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department.


Late Wednesday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) confirmed to the County Health Department that a Saint Louis County resident has 2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu); however, the county health department is emphasizing that this should not alarm anyone.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the most recent cases of 2009 H1N1 have almost the same symptoms and outcome as the common flu that occurs during flu season every year. The CDC has also changed its recommendations for schools, now suggesting that any students, staff, or teachers who become ill simply stay home until better – schools do not need to close. At this point, 2009 H1N1 should be treated no differently that the common flu.


Although there is currently no vaccine to prevent 2009 H1N1, there are treatments available for people diagnosed with the disease. According to Dr. Gunn, “There are two antiviral medications effective in treating swine flu: Tamiflu® and Relenza®. However, no one should take Tamiflu® or Relenza® unless prescribed by a doctor.”


The typical symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 flu are similar to those of the common flu: fever, tiredness, lack of appetite, coughing, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Over the past two weeks, the County Health Department has increased its regular surveillance of emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies – all so that any general increase in flu-like symptoms can be identified as soon as possible. To date, no general increase has been detected. The health department is also in close contact with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and other area health departments to learn of any other suspected or confirmed cases of 2009 H1N1 flu in the region.


The health department is also urging county residents to avoid requesting prescription antiviral medications unless they actually have flu-like symptoms. Said Dr. Gunn, “If you develop flu-like symptoms, check with your doctor to see if antivirals are appropriate – but if you don’t have flu-like symptoms, it is unlikely that you have the flu.”


For more information about the 2009 H1N1 flu, please visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s website for 2009 H1N1 flu at:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/20102011ColdandFluSeason/The2009H1N1Flu.


County Health Department Prepared for Swine Flu

(April 28, 2009) Although there are still no reported cases of swine flu in the Saint Louis area, the Saint Louis County Department of Health continues to monitor the situation and is prepared to respond if any cases are reported.


“This particular strain of swine flu is quite contagious and it may end up infecting many people around the world; however, the good news is that it is not usually fatal,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department.


The typical symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of the common flu: fever, tiredness, lack of appetite, coughing, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If a person experiences any of these symptoms – especially a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher – the person should contact his or her family doctor for evaluation.


This strain of influenza is called “swine flu” because it originated in pigs. However, the strain has mutated and it now capable of being transmitted directly from human to human. While the original transmission was from a live pig to a human, the virus cannot be transmitted from pork products – it is still safe to eat pork.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent this strain of swine flu, and it could take four to six months before one becomes available. However, if a person is diagnosed with it, there are treatments available. According to Dr. Gunn, “There are two antiviral medications that are effective in treating swine flu: Tamiflu® and Relenza®. However, they cannot prevent swine flu – they can only treat it after a person has been infected. No one should take Tamiflu® or Relenza® unless prescribed by a doctor.”


The county health department has increased its regular surveillance of emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies – all so that any local increase in flu-like symptoms can be identified as soon as possible. The health department is also in close contact with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and other area health departments to learn of any other suspected cases of swine flu.


Saint Louis County physicians and hospital emergency rooms have also been contacted by the health department with the latest detailed information on swine flu and the appropriate testing procedures to use when swine flu is suspected.


Symptoms usually appear within one (1) to four (4) days after infection. Anyone who thinks they may have swine flu should contact his or her medical provider. According to Dr. Gunn, knowledge and common sense are the key:


“Although we don’t currently have any cases of swine flu in the Saint Louis area, people need to know how to handle it should it arrive. Know the possible symptoms. Know what to do if you experience symptoms. Take all the usual precautions such as regular hand-washing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, avoiding those who are sick, and staying at home if you become sick.”


For more information about swine flu, please visit the website for the Saint Louis County Department of Health at:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness.


Saint Louis County Department of Health Launches SPAY AND NEUTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM  Voucher program helps control pet overpopulation

(April 13, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health has launched its Spay and Neuter Assistance Program, a financial assistance program that will help Saint Louis County residents save $50 to $80 on the cost of spaying and neutering pets.


The Spay and Neuter Assistance Program was created to help control pet overpopulation in Saint Louis County; in addition to helping prevent thousands of animal euthanizations each year,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Saint Louis County Health Department Director. “Unaltered animals have the potential to produce thousands of offspring, and the program will help prevent this, while keeping our streets safer from feral animals and the disturbances these animals can create.”


A limited number of vouchers are available to Saint Louis County pet owners with a current rabies tag issued by the county. As quantities are available, pet owners are allowed vouchers for every qualifying pet.


The voucher can be used at nearly all veterinarian clinics in Saint Louis County and participating clinics in surrounding areas. Participating veterinarians will subtract the value on the voucher from the cost of the spaying or neutering procedure, and the pet owner will pay the difference. Values range between $50 and $80, depending on the type and gender of the animal undergoing the procedure. Vouchers are available at the following Saint Louis County animal shelters:


North Shelter

4100 Seven Hills

Florissant, MO 63033

(314) 831-6500

South Shelter

77 Hunter Avenue

Ladue, MO 63124

(314) 726-6655


The voucher program is funded by an ordinance that went into effect in Saint Louis County on Jan. 1, 2006. The regulation places one dollar from every rabies tag sold in the county into a fund for reduced-cost spays and neuters. Approximately 10,000 rabies tags are sold in Saint Louis County each month.


For more information about the reduced-cost spay and neuter program, or to find a list of participating veterinary clinics, visit


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness


Department Receives Application for Expansion of Missouri Pass Waste Processing Facility

(April 10, 2009) St. Louis Composting has made application to the Director of the Saint Louis County Health Department for permit expansion of the operating license for the Missouri Pass Waste Processing Facility located at 11294 Schaefer Drive, Maryland Heights, Missouri, 63043. The company currently operates a four (4) acre waste processing facility and is applying to expand the permitted area by 5.3 acres, and add Class B (Demolition and Construction) and Class D (Organic) materials to the list of approved materials accepted at the facility.


The legal description of the parcel is as follows: SE ¼, NE ¼, Section 26, Township 46 North, Range 5 East, Maryland Heights, Saint Louis County, Missouri.


In accordance with Chapter 607, Saint Louis County Waste Management Code, the Department of Health will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 4th, 2009, at 7:00 p.m., in Room 3 of the Maryland Heights Community Centre, located at 2344 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights, Missouri, 63043.


The general public will be able comment on the permit expansion request at the public hearing and have their comments entered into the official record. Questions will not be answered during the meeting. Written comments addressed to Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Health Department, will be accepted up to ten (10) days after the public hearing (May 14th, 2009). Written comments can be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed to:


Saint Louis County Department of Health

Solid Waste Management Program

4562 Lemay Ferry Road

Saint Louis, MO 63129


To review the plans, please make an appointment at the Saint Louis County Government Center:


Keller Plaza

4562 Lemay Ferry Road

Saint Louis, MO 63129

Phone: (314) 615-4116


Or at the Saint Louis County Health Department:


111 South Meramec Avenue

Clayton, MO 63105

Phone: (314) 615-8958


Contact Jill Allen at (314) 615-4130 about any questions or any accommodations you may need to make the meeting site or information accessible. TTY: (314) 615-8428 or 1-800-735-2966.


County Health Department Urges Everyone to Wear a Safety Helmet When Cycling, Skating, or Skateboarding

(April 10, 2009) With the arrival of warmer weather comes more outdoor recreation. Physical activity is a good thing and the Saint Louis County Department of Health urges everyone to be as active as possible – but the department also urges everyone, regardless of age, to wear a safety helmet whenever riding a bike, skateboard, or scooter, or when using roller skates or roller blades. Remember, while scrapes and even broken bones may heal, injured brains don’t.


“Recreation is great for your health, but only if done safely,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “We encourage everyone to be physically active … but if you are cycling or skating, please wear a safety helmet and protect your brain.”


For those under the age of 17, it isn’t just a matter of safety – it’s the law. Last year the Saint Louis County Council passed an ordinance requiring children aged one (1) through sixteen (16) to wear appropriate safety gear:


“It shall be unlawful for a parent or guardian to permit a child of at least one year of age and who has not reached the age of seventeen to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle, a scooter, roller skates, roller blades or a skateboard unless the child shall wear protective headgear which properly fits and is fastened securely upon the head of the operator or passenger.” (Saint Louis County Ordinance, 602.600)


The measure was designed to promote proper safety habits among children and teenagers while playing and exercising. The new ordinance took effect on December 26th, 2008. Although there is a small $10 fine associated with violating the ordinance, its real intent was to raise awareness of the issue; fines will only be issued to those who have been caught violating the ordinance three (3) or more times in any given twelve-month period.


Some cities and municipalities already have helmet laws stricter than the county ordinance. In such cases, people must obey the stricter law. For information about existing municipal helmet laws, residents are encouraged to call or visit their local city hall or visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health website (link below) which has a summary of the municipal laws.


Helmets are generally inexpensive, often costing $15 or less. However, for those who cannot afford to buy one, a limited number of free safety helmets are available at several locations throughout the county.


For more information about the new County Helmet Ordinance, a summary of municipal safety helmet laws, or a list of locations that are providing free safety helmets, please visit the Health Department’s website at:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/Health/SafetyHelmetInformation


The Nurse-Family Partnership Represents the Best of Public Health Efforts

(April 7, 2009) National Public Health Week, which runs from April 6th through April 12th this year, is a wonderful time to reflect on the many good things brought to us by the public health community. One local effort – the Building Blocks Program (known nationally as the Nurse-Family Partnership Program) – recently celebrated its third anniversary, and it remains a shining example of the best that public health has to offer.


“Although we are very proud of all our public health efforts, we are especially proud of the good work being done by the folks in the Building Blocks Program,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “Nothing we do is more important for future generations than making sure our children are safe, healthy, and well-cared for.”


The Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally-recognized, evidence-based prevention program implemented in 2005 by the Saint Louis County Department of Health. In Missouri, it is called the “Building Blocks Program,” and it is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which issues grants to participating agencies. Although available in the Saint Louis area for just over three (3) years, variations of the national program have been around for more than three (3) decades.


Building Blocks is a voluntary prevention program that provides in-home nurse visits to low income, first-time mothers. Home visits for eligible women start early in the pregnancy and continue until the resulting child is two (2) years old. The visits serve many different purposes, but beyond the obvious health-related results, women being served receive support, education, and counseling on a variety of issues. Research over the last 30 years has shown that such programs yield very positive results, including improved prenatal health, fewer subsequent pregnancies, higher maternal employment, less child abuse and neglect, and improved school readiness among the children.


The national Nurse-Family Partnership Program has been praised by the National Institute for Early Education Research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of the Surgeon General, and the President’s New Freedom Commission. A 2004 cost/benefit analysis by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy showed an overall savings of $17,180 for each child born to a Nurse-Family Partnership mother.


There are currently about 100 young mothers being served in the Building Blocks Nurse-Family Partnership Program throughout the Saint Louis region. The program changes the life trajectories of both mother and child, thus benefitting multiple generations.


“We are so thrilled to be serving so many women and children in the Saint Louis area,” said Vanessa Davis, Nurse Supervisor of the Saint Louis site. “It is truly an honor to be a part of such an amazing program, and I know that all my fellow nurses feel the same way.”


Because of the many local successes around the country, national implementation of this important program is now underway, and the program is currently serving more than 22,000 families in 21 states. It truly represents the best of public health efforts throughout the nation.


For more information about the local Building Blocks Nurse-Family Partnership Program, please visit its website at the Saint Louis County Department of Health:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/HealthCentersandMedicalServices
/PublicHealthNursingProgram/NurseFamilyPartnership


For more information about the national Nurse-Family Partnership Program, please visit their website at:


http://www.nursefamilypartnership.org


County Health Department Urges Better Awareness of Public Health Efforts

(April 6, 2009) National Public Health Week 2009 runs from April 6th through April 12th. The theme this year is “Building the Foundation for a Healthy America.” Throughout the week – and indeed throughout the entire year – the Saint Louis County Department of Health urges people to be more aware of the efforts made by public health agencies to safeguard the standard of living we enjoy in this county.


“From the moment you pour milk over your cereal in the morning to the minute you lay your head on a pillow in the evening, public health agencies play a role in keeping you and your family safe and healthy,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


The Saint Louis County Health Department is using National Public Health Week as an opportunity to highlight the many different programs it has to safeguard public health – programs that include, among others, milk testing, animal control, vital records management, disease tracking, emergency preparedness, air monitoring, immunizations, primary health clinics, recycling education, restaurant inspections, lead testing, and mosquito control.


However, despite the efforts of the many public health agencies around the country, there remains room for improvement. Despite being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the United States has one of the lowest life expectancy rates among developed countries, and babies born in America are three times more likely to die than those born in some developing nations. In addition, America has made the top 10 list of countries with the most people living with HIV/AIDS, obesity rates are up 36 percent in the past 20 years, and one out of two young people who start and continue to smoke will be killed by a tobacco-related illness. In short, more needs to be done.


The national organization sponsoring National Public Health Week has designated a focus for each day of the week. Monday’s efforts are meant to highlight the things public health agencies do to help “Our Nation”. Tuesday’s efforts are focused on “Our Community”. The theme for Wednesday is “Our Workplace”. Thursday’s focus is “Our Schools”. And Friday’s theme is “Your Home”.


Throughout the week, the Saint Louis County Department of Health will be focusing its efforts on each of these five (5) areas to raise awareness in the community of the many things the department does to promote public health in the Saint Louis area. The department urges all residents to learn more about what your local Health Department does for you.


For more information about the Saint Louis County Department of Health, please visit our website at:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness


For more information about National Public Health Week, please visit the official NPHW website at:


www.NPHW.org


Nondomestic Animals Need License in County

(March 18, 2009) The recent attack of a Connecticut woman by a pet chimpanzee has prompted the Saint Louis County Department of Health to remind residents that nondomestic animals require a license.


Nondomestic animals include all cats except house cats, nonhuman primates, bears, wolves, coyotes and venomous reptiles.


County residents who plan to own nondomestic animals are required by ordinance to contact the health department for an inspection of the living conditions for the animal.


“We want to make sure that living conditions are safe for the owner, the general population and the animal.” said La’Rhonda Garrett-Wheelington, program manager for the health department’s animal control division.


The owner will be required to provide proof of insurance to pay for any damages or injury caused by the animal, according to the Nondomestic Animal Code enacted by the county in 1982. Owners must notify the health department if the animal is sold or given away.


To apply for a permit, call one of the animal shelters at 314-831-6500 or 314-726-6655.


County Health Department Seeks Volunteer Leaders for Emergencies

(March 09, 2009) As part of its responsibility to provide leadership and respond effectively during a public health emergency, the Saint Louis County Department of Health is seeking volunteers with military or first responder experience to provide leadership at Point of Dispensing Sites (PODS).


PODS will be opened during a public health emergency to dispense medicine and volunteers who have organizational leadership experience in the military, or as a first responder, are needed to fill supervisory and management roles. These volunteers will be part of a group that will operate the PODS that will be established throughout the county.


“Former military personnel and first responders can offer leadership skills that will help the health department serve the public during an emergency,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, health department director.


The health department will provide training and support for volunteers.


For more information, contact the Department of Health Emergency Preparedness Group at (314) 615-1623 or email: [email protected].


County Health Department Tracks Increase in Flu Cases

(February 10, 2009) The Saint Louis County Department of Health, which regularly tracks cases of seasonal influenza, has noted a marked increase in flu cases over the last two weeks.


For the week ending February 8th, 2009, the County Health Department received reports of 85 laboratory-confirmed flu cases, as compared to 66 cases for the previous week, and just 15 cases the week before that.


“The recent increase in reported flu cases is a reminder that it is important to get a flu shot and take other preventative measures,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Health Department.


The following three age groups have been the most affected so far this flu season: 5 to 14-year-olds; 15 to 24-year-olds; and 25 to 49-year olds. Last year, the most affected age group was the 25 to 49-year-olds. There have been a total of 224 cases of flu so far this season.


Dr. Gunn cautions, “It is important to get a flu shot this year for three reasons: 1) your health; 2) the health of others who may be exposed if you are infected; and, 3) for the first time, the strain of flu circulating this year is likely to be resistant to the most commonly used medication to treat it. Virtually all of the influenza A subtype H1N1 circulating in the United States this year is resistant to Oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu®), thus limiting the options for effective treatment. We may think of the influenza season as a routine annual event, but we should recognize both the impact it has on our health as well as the burden it places on emergency medical services.”


In addition to getting a flu shot, there are other steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting the flu:


Square

Try to keep a distance of three feet away from others.

Square

Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.

Square

Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.

Square

Stay home if you are ill.


To view the Weekly Flu Report, visit www.SaintLouisCountyFlu.com and select the appropriate link.


To find out where to go for vaccinations (or to find more information about the flu), visit the Saint Louis County Flu website or call the Flu Vaccination Hotline:


314-644-4FLU (644-4358)


Comprehensive Accreditation Renewed for the Saint Louis County Department of Health

(February 2, 2009) The Missouri Institute for Community Health (or MICH) – the statewide organization that accredits local health departments in Missouri – has officially renewed the comprehensive accreditation status of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. Earlier today, MICH presented the department with a plaque recognizing the comprehensive re-accreditation during a ceremony in the offices of County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.


“We’re very excited about this,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the County Health Department. “We have long felt that we are doing wonderful work in the area of public health, but it is quite gratifying to have an outside organization validate that belief through a comprehensive review of our activities.”


There are three levels of accreditation granted by the Missouri Institute for Community Health: 1) primary; 2) advanced; and 3) comprehensive. The Saint Louis County Health Department has qualified for the most extensive of these levels – comprehensive accreditation – a distinction currently shared by only one other health departments in the state.


Being accredited in Missouri is voluntary; however, health departments that do choose to seek comprehensive accreditation status must demonstrate that they are ensuring all aspects of ten (10) essential public health services by complying with over 300 specific performance measures spanning the full range of public health activities. In addition, such departments must show that they are working cooperatively with community partners to ensure health care access for all members of the community. Comprehensive accreditation status therefore represents a proven commitment to excellence.


The Saint Louis County Department of Health was awarded its comprehensive re-accreditation status based on a record of 100% compliance with all performance measures – an outstanding achievement.


The department spent months preparing required documentation before hosting a visit by the official MICH accreditation team last September. The accreditation team made a report to the MICH Board which then voted to renew the comprehensive accreditation status of the department based on the findings. This newly acquired status will last for three (3) years, at which time the department will once again be required to demonstrate its compliance in order to achieve renewal.


In addition to County Executive Charlie A. Dooley and Director of the Department, Dr. Dolores Gunn, the re-accreditation ceremony was attended by the President of the MICH Board of Directors, Diane Sterett, the Co-Director of MICH, Janet Canavese, the Chair of the MICH Accreditation Council, Steve Fine, and Anne E. Lock, the Director of the Center for Local Public Health Services (a division of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services).


Additional information about the Saint Louis County Department of Health can be found on their website:


https://stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness


Additional information about the Missouri Institute for Community Health can be found on their website:


www.michweb.org.


County Department of Health Receives Application for Expansion of Fred Weber Sanitary Landfill

(January 23, 2009) Fred Weber, Inc., has submitted an application to the Director of the Saint Louis County Health Department for a permit expansion of the operating license for its sanitary landfill located at 2320 Creve Coeur Mill Road, southeast of the Earth City Expressway (located in the Village of Champ, Missouri, 63043). The company currently operates a sanitary landfill on the 511 acre parcel and wishes to expand the permitted area by 30 acres and raise the permitted final elevation.


The legal description of the parcel is as follows: Section 9 and 10, Township 46 North, Range 5 East, Village of Champ, Saint Louis County, Missouri.


In accordance with Chapter 607, Waste Management Code, the Health Department will hold a public hearing on Monday, February 23rd, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the Maryland Heights Community Centre, Room 3, located at 2344 McKelvey Road, Maryland Heights, Missouri, 63043. The general public will have the opportunity to comment on the license request at the public hearing and have their comments entered into the official record. Questions will not be answered during the meeting; responses will be issued at a later date.


To review the plans, interested parties can make an appointment at the Saint Louis County South Government Center, Keller Plaza, 4562 Lemay Ferry Road, Saint Louis, Missouri, 63129 (phone: 314-615-4116), or at the Saint Louis County Health Department, 111 S. Meramec Avenue, Clayton, Missouri, 63105 (phone 314-615-8958). Contact Jill Allen at 314-615-4130 with any questions or requests for accommodation you may need to make the meeting site or information accessible. (TTY: 314-615-8428 or 1-800-735-2966.)