Monday, January 26, 2015

More than 6,000 gallons of wastewater flowed into Mobile, Ala., waterways Jan. 23, 2015

Mobile, Ala. -- The Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) reported several sanitary sewer overflows resulting from heavy rains on Jan. 23. The National Weather Service reported up to 3 inches of rain fell during that time period. Six overflows abated late Friday, after the rain stopped, according to a spokeswoman for the utility.  Estimated totals are listed below.

  • At 600 Bizzell Ave. at Pecan St., 60 gallons overflowed into Three Mile Creek;
  • At 569 Bizzell Ave. at Pecan St., 120 gallons overflowed into Three Mile Creek;
  • At Dog River Dr. W. at Bream Dr., 3,625 gallons overflowed into Dog River;
  • At 2335 Dog River Dr. S., 1,950 gallons overflowed into Dog River;
  • At Parkway Dr. at Peer Ct., 940 gallons overflowed into Dog River;
  • At 208 Westwood St., 120 gallons overflowed into Eslava Creek;
  • At 175 Westwood St., 120 gallons overflowed into Eslava Creek.

 Dr. Bernard Eichold, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when using the water ways listed above for recreational purposes because of the more than 6,000 gallon overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash their hands before cleaning seafood and before preparing food in general.

About MCHD
Since 1816, the Mobile County Health Department and its staff have worked to promote, improve and protect the health of those who live and work in Mobile County.  For more than a decade, MCHD has been continuously accredited by the Joint Commission and was the first public health agency in Alabama with this designation. More than 40,000 patients visited the Mobile County Health Department’s 10 primary care sites, known as Family Health, in 2014.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Health officials: More than 9,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Gum Tree Branch

MOBILE, Ala. – After rains soaked portions of south Alabama on Friday, Prichard Water Company crews responded to a number of sanitary sewer overflows where more than 9,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Gum Tree Branch, officials with the water company reported to the Mobile County Health Department.

·         At 705 Sample Street, approximately 1,620 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Gum Tree Branch.

·         At 1,206 Craft Highway, an estimated 2,520 gallons of wastewater also overflowed into Gum Tree Branch between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

·         At 211 Patricia St., an estimated 2,340 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Gum Tree Branch.

·         At 830 Strauss St., an estimated 2,340 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Gum Tree Branch between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Bernard Eichold, Health Officer for the Mobile County Health Department, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of these overflows. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents also should take precautions if using Gum Tree Branch for recreational purposes. All seafood harvested in affected areas should be thoroughly cooked before consumption. People should wash their hands after cleaning any fish or other seafood and also before preparing food.

 

 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Portions of Mobile Bay to reopen for oyster harvesting beginning Jan. 23, 2015


MOBILE, Ala. -- After almost three weeks, portions of Areas I, II and III of Mobile Bay that were temporarily closed to the harvesting of oysters on Jan. 4 will reopen January 23, 2015, State Health Officer Dr. Donald E. Williamson said. This includes Portersville Bay, Grand Bay and Heron Bay.
 
The order will become effective at 6 a.m., Jan. 23, 2015.

All public oyster reefs are managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Marine Resources Division (MRD) for harvest. Catchers are reminded to check with MRD for information regarding areas open for harvest.

The Alabama Department of Public Health will continue to monitor bay waters and shellfish to ensure bacteriological safety.

For additional information concerning the opening, contact Greg Dunn, Alabama Department of Public Health, in Mobile at (251) 662-7511 or (334) 341-7062.
                       

Get the flu shot: Number of flu cases rising in Mobile County dramatically in 2015



MOBILE, Ala. – The number of flu cases reported in Mobile County continues to rise, with area hospitals and private physician offices seeing a spike in positive flu tests during the past two months.
Between Dec. 1, 2014, and Jan. 20, 2015, there have been 725 confirmed cases of the flu (through a positive flu test)  reported to the Mobile County Health Department from hospitals in Mobile County and from the health department’s Family Health clinics.


The true number of positive flu cases is likely much higher because the total mentioned above does not include private physician offices and urgent care centers. Influenza is not classified as a reportable disease, so health care providers are not required to report cases to the Mobile County Health Department.

Influenza is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.  It is especially dangerous for those at high risk, including the very young, the elderly and those with other chronic health conditions and compromised immune systems. While the 2014-15 influenza vaccine may not be as effective in preventing the flu as first hoped, local health care providers and their patients should continue vaccination efforts, health officials said.

Vaccination still offers some protection from the flu and may reduce chances for severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said. Vaccination will offer protection against circulating influenza strains that are susceptible to the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year with the flu and that the numbers of deaths because of the flu have ranged from 3,000 to 49,000 annually, depending on the severity of the season.

Dr. Bernard Eichold, Health Officer for the Mobile County Health Department, advises people to take the following precautions to prevent the spread of colds and flu this season:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. No tissue? Cough and sneeze into your upper arm or sleeve.
• Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• If you are sick, stay home.
The Mobile County Health Department is offering the 2014-2015 seasonal flu vaccine to those age 6 months and older without an appointment Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Health Department’s Immunization Clinic, 251 N. Bayou St.

The shots also are available by appointment at MCHD’s outlying Family Health centers. Appointments can be made by calling 251-690-8889. The shots are $15 each, payable in the exact amount by cash or credit card, or by using Medicaid or Medicare Part B, or private insurance that covers the cost.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Register online for Scale Back Alabama: Weigh-ins begin Jan. 20 at MCHD


Mobile County Health Department and Family Health employees have just a few more days before registration closes for the free statewide weight-loss initiative Scale Back Alabama. Teams of two should register online this week at www.scalebackalabama.com

Weigh-in week is from January 19 through 23, 2015, at your primary work location.

A drawing will be held for cash prizes at the end of the program.If you have questions, please contact Margaret McCulloch at 251-690-8173 or mmcculloch@mchd.org
 
Once the registration is submitted, team members print the registration confirmation and take it with them to a local weigh-in site to do their initial weights. On-site registration will also be available for those who do not pre-register. Each week during the 10-week program, participants will receive health tips on eating less and moving more, along with information on great outdoor activities taking place across the state.
 
Since its beginning, the program has resulted in 1.1 million pounds lost in a state that ranks eighth in the nation in terms of adult obesity. Scale Back Alabama is sponsored by the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.
 
For more information, visit www.scalebackalabama.com .