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

Fall into fitness this October and participate in the 6th Annual Making Strides for Awareness Fun Walk to be held at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill, Market Street. This is a free event co-sponsored by the Worcester County Health Department and the Town of Snow Hill. The first 50 registrants will receive a HOPE stadium cup. Registration begins at 5pm. Participants will have the opportunity to complete a ½ mile, 1-mile, or 2-mile walk.

Click the image below to register for this free event. 

Public Health Officials Offer Food Safety Tips in Preparation of Potential Power Outages and Flooding Due to Hurricane Florence

(Salisbury, MD) - As Hurricane Florence begins to make way across the Eastern seaboard, health officials of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties recommend the following food safety tips for residents to help them prepare now, should local power outages or flooding occur.

• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. For more information on generator safety, visit here.

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Celebrate life and help raise awareness about suicide prevention on the Boardwalk this September with the Out of the Darkness Community Walk. On Saturday, September 22, hundreds of walkers from Maryland and across the country will gather in Ocean City to memorialize the victims of suicide, offer support to friends and family, and to raise funds for suicide awareness and mental health first aid through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This year, the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will also host the second annual “Celebration of Life” event the night before the walk, to memorialize friends and family lost to suicide.                                                                                                                                                      

Walk Date: 09/22/2018
Walk Location: Caroline Street and Ocean City Boardwalk - Ocean City, MD
Check-in/Registration Time: 9:00 am
Walk Begins: 10:30 am
Walk Ends: 12:00 pm

Click the image below to learn more or call 410-632-3366

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Residents who may have had contact should call the health department immediately


Snow Hill, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department confirms that a kitten has tested positive for rabies on August 29, 2018 on Snow Hill Rd (Rt. 12) north of Girdletree. The kitten was a female gray, black and tan striped tabby that was roughly eight-weeks-old. Residents of the property near where the kitten was found did not own the animal and the owners are unknown at this time.

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Ocean City, MD- Take a deep breath, Worcester County; this month Maryland celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act. Maryland’s Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in all indoor workplaces, including restaurants, bars, and clubs, to preserve and improve the health, comfort, and environment of residents by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke.

For more information on the Clean Indoor Air Act, click here

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program