Zika Information

About Zika


Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

 
Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations. Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.
 
In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories. Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas.
 
Specific areas where Zika is spreading are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. If traveling, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health site for the most updated travel information.

For more information on Zika via the CDC, visit here:alt

Prevention

What we know:
  • No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
  • Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
  • Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or not having sex
  • Steps to prevent mosquito bite.
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When in areas with Zika and other diseases spread by mosquitoes, take the following steps:
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
 
Zika and Pregnancy

Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth.  CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women. Women who are pregnant should not travel to areas with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas or if you live in an area with Zika, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and to prevent sexual transmission.

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Program Structure

The Environmental Health Program provides licensing, inspection, training, and enforcement functions for the Worcester County Health Department in areas related to food service, swimming pools and spas, animal bites and rabies, and other aspects of environmental health that may affect community health and safety.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Services

The Environmental Health Program offers services related to:

 


They are also responsible for:

Information

        General Information

         Food Safety

         Pool Safety


Location

Isle of Wight Center (across from Ocean City, off RT 90)
13070 St. Martin's Neck Road,
Bishopville, MD 21813
Directions
Phone:  410-352-3234 and 410-641-9559 (toll free from Pocomoke area)
Fax:  410-352-3369
Hours:  8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Also located at the Isle of Wight Center:
Worc. Co. Dept. of Development, Review and Permitting: 410-352-3057

Worc. Co. Treasurer's Office: 410-352-3055

 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

As part of Pocomoke City’s 4th Friday on Sept. 27, the Worcester County Health Department will lead a free 1-mile fun walk through the historic downtown district. Registration begins at 5 pm and the walk starts at 5:30 pm.

Click the image below to register for the walk. 

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The Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Ocean City, MD.

Ocean City, MD − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Worcester County are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. As in years past, walkers will gather at Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, with registration beginning at 9am. After opening remarks, the procession will walk to the Inlet, turn and walk to 5th Street, then back to Caroline Street.

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Worcester Health partners with Ocean City Fire Department on “Safe Station” project
Station offers 24/7 access to recovery services

Ocean City, MD- Where would you go if you needed help with addiction right now? The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station for those seeking immediate help getting into recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.

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In the event of a storm or power outage, it is important to know safety information about food storage and operating generators. Follow the links below for tips about food and generator safety.

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(July 31, 2019 Snow Hill, MD) – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first positive test for EEE in Worcester in 2019.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, eliminating standing water is critical for the control of mosquito populations. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program