Current Topics

Extreme Heat


As temperatures in Maryland start heating up, residents should be aware of the dangers posed by extreme heat. Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. Anyone can be a victim of a heat-related illness, such as people working or exercising on hot days, and can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. Those most at risk are children under age 5, people over age 65, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, and people taking certain medications. The Frederick County Health Department offers the following hot weather tips residents should follow, to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Hot Weather Tips:

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes.
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas when possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public building or stay with family or friends who have air conditioning. 
  • Take it easy when outdoors. Athletes and those who work outdoors should be short breaks when feeling fatigued. Schedule physical activity during the morning or evening when it is cooler.
  • Avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade and wear sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
  • NEVER leave pets or children in a car, even with the windows cracked.
  • Check on elderly relatives or neighbors at least daily, and make sure they have a cool environment to live in during extreme heat.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.  Avoid alcohol, caffeine and overly sweetened beverages.
    • Note: if your doctor limits the amount you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
For additional information about Extreme Heat:

Heat Related Illness Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html

Heath Safety Tips and Resources
http://www.weather.gov/heat

Heat Related Preparedness Tips
https://www.ready.gov/heat



Zika Virus Disease

Zika Virus

Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika can also be transmitted through sex and from a pregnant woman to her fetus.  Many people infected with Zika won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Symptoms can last for several days to a week. However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. 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. There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Here’s how:

  • Wear insect repellent
  • Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Use condoms with a partner who has been in an area with Zika
  • Remove standing water in your home and around your community
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Clean up trash, containers, and tires that can hold water
  • Use larvicides in water that can’t be removed and won’t be used for drinking
For more information about Zika
Information for Pregnant Women
Avoiding Mosquito Bites
Information for Travelers

Si usted desea más información sobre el virus del Zika en español, haga un clic aquí:

Check out more fact sheets here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/fs-posters/index.html 



Ebola Virus Disease


The 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (“Ebola”) outbreak is primarily affecting countries in western Africa though has more recently caused Ebola cases diagnosed in the United States and other countries. The Frederick County Health Department is monitoring the situation and working very closely with community and state partners in preparing for and responding to situations that might be related to Ebola. 

Local and State Activity
  • Information on state preparation for Ebola can be found on the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website
  • Frederick County Health Department continually monitors the Ebola situation.
  • The health department and partners are discussing protocols, conducting drills and training staff in preparation for any potential Ebola response.
  • The health department and Frederick Memorial Hospital are working with local health care providers on procedures and tools to ensure proper screening.
General Information about Ebola
The health department recommends members of the public learn more about Ebola Virus Disease, its signs and symptoms, and how it is spread by using information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Ebola Information for Health Care Providers
Additional information about Ebola for Health Care Providers can be found here.




Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About 30% of these people died. So far, all the cases have been linked to 6 countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. 

CDC continues to closely monitor the MERS-CoV situation globally and work with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. The risk to the general public is extremely low. For the most current information about MERS Co-V, please visit the CDC website.

May 12, 2014: On May 11, 2014, a second U.S. imported case of MERS was confirmed in a traveler who also came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. This patient is currently hospitalized and doing well. People who had close contact with this patient are being contacted. The 2 U.S. cases are not linked.

CDC and other public health partners continue to investigate and respond to the changing situation to prevent the spread of MERS-CoV in the U.S. These 2 cases of MERS imported to the U.S. represent a very low risk to the general public in this country.

May 2, 2014: The first U.S. case of MERS-CoV was reported by the CDC on May 2, 2014, involving a man in Indiana who had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia. The CDC says the virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact but has not shown to spread "in a sustained way in communities." The risk to the general public is low.





Frederick County Scores High in Public Health Preparedness

April 8, 2014: Frederick County Health Department scored 100% on the Technical Assistance Review (TAR) of its Medical Countermeasure Dispensing and Distribution Plan (formerly the Strategic National Stockpile Plan). The review was conducted by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This achievement could not have been possible without the collaboration and support of our many Frederick County partners.

Zombie Preparedness


Are you prepared for a Zombie Pandemic? The CDC has started a campaign to help you prepare for zombies, or for any other public health emergency that might happen. The great thing about being prepared is that you need the same things if you're preparing for zombies, a hurricane, or winter weather! Get a kit, make a plan, be prepared!

For more information about preparing for zombies (or whatever might happen!), check out the CDC's graphic novel, "Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic."
CDC Zombie Apocalypse