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Health & Environment

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Department News

150 Volunteers Needed for Community Health Assessment

Community Health Assessment Survey LogoEvery three years the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment joins with nonprofit hospitals and other community partners to conduct a Community Health Assessment (CHA).

The purpose is to identify factors that affect the health of our residents. We need at least 150 volunteers on Saturday, September 8, 2018 to go to preselected neighborhoods to survey citizens about their health and the health of the community.

Volunteers will start the day at 8 a.m. with training on the survey and then go in pairs to neighborhoods to conduct the surveys until 5 p.m. Each survey takes about 10 minutes.

This is a great way to help the community, enjoy a nice walk, get a t-shirt and meet new people! Volunteers will be eligible to win a gift card for their participation.

You must be 18 years or older to volunteer. Sign up: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHAVolunteer2018

Questions? Call 913-477-8364 or barbara.mitchell@jocogov.org

Household Hazardous Waste 2nd Saturday Collection Event July 14th.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will once again offer 2nd Saturday of the month, Household Hazardous Waste collection events. Our next event will take place on Saturday, July 14th from 8-11:30am and are by appointment only. These events are for residential drop-offs only and residents can schedule a drop-off time through our online scheduler. Saturday collection events will occur the 2nd Saturday of the month and will run through October. Electronic waste will not be accepted, however, Secure E-Cycle is located a short distance from the Household Hazardous Waste facility and will be accepting items during the Saturday collection events. Prices for electronic recycling are: TVs under 31" ($25), TVs over 31" ($35), CRT monitors ($10), LCD computer monitors ($5), PC's with data destruction ($5), all other accepted electronics are free. Secure E-Cycle will also accept paper for shredding, prices for secure paper disposal are $25 for the 1st box, and $5 for each additional box. For other electronic recycling options go to RecycleSpot.org to find the locations closest to you.

Staying safe in the heat

Record-setting temperatures over the Memorial Day weekend are a reminder that citizens who need a place to cool down during hot days are encouraged to visit one of the Johnson County Library’s 13 branches. All of these facilities will be available during normal business hours.

Libraries offer many services in addition to a cool place to rest and restore. You can read books, magazines and newspapers, or access the Internet. Library hours vary by location. Call (913) 826-4600 to check hours of operation for your nearest library branch or visit the Library website at http://www.jocolibrary.org/locations.

The following tips will help you stay safe in the heat:

  • Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Check with your doctor if you have restrictions related to fluid intake.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go somewhere cool—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when temperatures are in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Exercise in an air-conditioned place and drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • If you have to be outside, try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some are at greater risk than others. Be sure to check regularly on:

  • People aged 65 or older
  • People taking certain medications, including narcotics, sedatives, and diuretics
  • Athletes who are not used to working out in warm environments
  • People who work outside
  • People who have a mental illness or are physically ill, especially with heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes

Measles investigation in Johnson County comes to a close

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment identified 22 cases of measles that were epidemiologically linked after an infant who was too young to be vaccinated was infected with measles while traveling internationally. Health officials began investigating the outbreak on March 8 and continued until it was declared over on May 28 by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

Johnson County Measles Investigation FAQ

Top 4 things parents need to know about measles 

Las 4 cosas principales que deben saber los padres sobre el sarampión 

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS: Measles Clinical Information

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS: Healthcare Facility Infection Control Recommendations for Suspect Measles Cases

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Measles Information

Kansas Department of Health and Environment 2018 News Releases

Measles Exposure Sites in Missouri

Johnson County maintains #1 ranking as healthiest place to live in Kansas

Johnson County maintains its top ranking as the healthiest place to live in Kansas according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released on March 14, 2018 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

“Johnson County is fortunate to have many of the key factors that contribute to a long and healthy life,” says Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “However, this report is also a call to action for leaders and community members to note those areas where we can make improvements so everyone in Johnson County has a fair and just chance to lead the healthiest life possible”

The 2018 Rankings show that where you live influences how well and how long you live. Good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods and more.

Johnson County ranked number one in the state for another year for health outcomes like a low number of premature deaths and low birthweight babies. The county also ranked number one for health factors such as access to quality medical care and exercise opportunities, a healthy food environment and a high percentage of adults with some post-secondary education.

The report identifies areas where more work needs to be done in Johnson County to reduce obesity and heavy drinking in adults, slow down the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and address the number of workers who commute in their car alone.

Marsh says Johnson County has a number of initiatives underway to address these issues: LiveWell Johnson County, a grant-funded program that addresses chronic disease prevention by promoting healthy eating and active living; and abstinence-based programs for adolescents that focus on STI and pregnancy prevention; and improved mass transit with the expansion of RideKC routes to southern Johnson County starting in April 2018.

Three measles cases confirmed in Johnson County

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) has confirmed three cases of measles in a Johnson County, Kan. child care facility. All identified cases are in children less than one year of age, who are too young to be vaccinated for the disease. Those at risk for the disease have been contacted and the investigation is ongoing.

In order to prevent the spread of measles, the affected children and others they have come in contact with have been excluded from the child care facility for 21 days following the last exposure to the disease, per the Kansas Administrative Regulation 28-1-6. Any child that has been exposed to measles should not attend any childcare facility or school. This protects the community from further spread.

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. Since the creation of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, measles cases are rare in the United States; however, it still sickens millions and kills 146,000 people worldwide each year.

“Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles in children and adults. Make sure children have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten,” said JCDHE Director Lougene Marsh.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The signs and symptoms of measles typically begin one to two weeks after someone is exposed to an infected person. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Blotchy rash on the skin, which spreads from the head to the trunk then to the lower extremities (Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

“If your child has a fever, keep them home except to see a healthcare provider. If you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff,” said Marsh.

People at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include infants and children less than 5 years of age, adults older than 20 years, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

For more information about measles: http://www.cdc.gov/features/Measles/index.html

Immunization clinics closed on March 12, 2018

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment's immunization clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Drive) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.) will be closed on Monday, March 12, 2018. All other walk-in services will be available at both locations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New shingles vaccine for adults over age 50 now available in clinics

Shingles on skinThe new shingles vaccine that is 90 percent effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication from shingles, is now available at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s immunization clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults over age 50 get two doses of the shingles vaccine Shingrix®, separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Shingrix is the preferred vaccine because it provides stronger protection than Zostavax®, a shingles vaccine in use since 2006. Shingrix is also recommended for people who have already gotten Zostavax.

You can get Shingrix whether or not you remember having had chickenpox in the past. Studies show that more than 99 percent of Americans 40 years and older have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember having the disease. Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus (varicella zoster virus). After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles. If you had shingles in the past, you can get Shingrix to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. Consult with your healthcare provider or one of JCDHE’s immunization nurses about the best time to receive Shingrix.

Shingrix is available on a walk-in basis at the immunization clinics in Olathe and Mission: https://www.jocogov.org/dept/health-and-environment/health/immunizations/adults

Many health insurance plans will cover the vaccine. Contact your insurer to find out.

WIC Offices Closed on Jan. 10, 2018

The WIC (Women/Infants/Children) offices in Olathe and Mission will be closed on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 for staff training on the new eWIC program. 

Tdap Vaccine Clinic on Jan. 23, 2018

The Tdap vaccine protects adults from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Whooping cough can be a life-threatening illness for infants less than a year old. Babies can catch the disease from household members and caregivers who might not know they are infected. Those who have close contact with infants should get vaccinated at this clinic offered by the child care licensing and health services divisions of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Childcare providers, parents, grandparents and adult caregivers of children

WHEN:
Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

WHERE:  
St. Joseph Early Education Center
11525 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS 66203

WHAT TO BRING:
$20 or insurance card. JCDHE is a KanCare provider for all managed care organizations: Amerigroup, Sunflower and United Community. JCDHE accepts private insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Coventry and UnitedHealthcare. We do not take insurance from Medicare, Coventry Advantra or Humana Gold Plus for this service. Check your health benefit plan to confirm coverage for payment of services.

QUESTIONS?
Call 913-826-1261

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Upcoming Events

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Tue, 06/26/2018 - 7:30am

Volunteer in the WIC Community Garden

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 10:00am

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 7:30am

Volunteer in the WIC Community Garden

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 8:00am

JCDHE Closed on Independence Day

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 7:30am

Volunteer in the WIC Community Garden