Maryland Receives CDC’s Top Score in Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Baltimore, MD (October 9, 2012) - Governor Martin O'Malley announced today that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has earned a top score in public health emergency preparedness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The annual review and evaluation process was conducted earlier this year.




DHMH earned a score of 100 (out of a possible 100) in its 2011 evaluation. This is the fourth straight year that DHMH has improved its rating. DHMH started with a score of 67 in 2008 and earned a score of 96 in its 2010 evaluation.

“Maryland continues to make emergency preparedness a priority,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

“There is nothing more important than working to ensure that our residents and communities are safe and secure during public health disasters and emergencies.”

 

During the past few years, DHMH has worked with local health departments and other emergency response partners to plan, prepare and exercise for public health emergencies.  DHMH has worked diligently to build an extensive emergency response infrastructure with state-of-the-art equipment, technology and highly qualified personnel.

The CDC report notes Maryland’s improvements in biosurveillance, enhanced public health laboratory capabilities and the state’s demonstrated ability to receive, store and distribute life-saving antibiotics, antivirals and critical medical equipment and supplies.


“This is certainly a significant accomplishment,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, DHMH Secretary.

“Yet we know the dedication and hard work must continue as we strive to be even better in the future.”

 

Other outstanding Maryland achievements include the state’s ESSENCE system (Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics), which allows state officials to detect emerging diseases and infectious disease outbreaks.  With ESSENCE, state medical technicians can obtain information about emergency room patient symptoms, data on the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and prescriptions dispensed to patients, and real-time school absentee records.

To read the Public Health Preparedness: 2012 State-by-State Report on Laboratory, Emergency Operations Coordination and Emergency Public Information and Warning Capabilities, click on: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/pubs-links/2012/documents/2012%20State-By-State_Preparedness_Report.pdf

 

For more information about emergency preparedness and response efforts at DHMH, click on

http://dhmh.maryland.gov/SitePages/Home.aspx and go to the Emergency Preparedness tab at the top of the page.

 

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WCHD News

(Snow Hill, MD)- Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecasted to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

Learn more tips for staying cool and safe during extreme heat by clicking the image below

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Snow Hill, MD- The Worcester County Health Department has confirmed eight rabies cases locally since the beginning of 2019, emphasizing the importance of rabies awareness and proper pet vaccination. The latest confirmed positive rabies case was a groundhog found on Manklin Creek Rd in the Ocean Pines area on July 3.

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Men's Health Month

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.

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Summer Wellness Camp

The Worcester County Health Department will host a free, week-long health and wellness camp for youth age 12-17 this summer. From June 17-21, campers will learn about the importance of health, fitness, setting personal goals and much more. The summer camp is part of Worcester Health’s Promoting Health Among Teens program and will feature guest speakers, snacks and lunch, learning activities and field trips to locations around Worcester including the Jolly Roger amusement park in Ocean City.

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program