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HEALTH ALERT: Travelers from China There is an outbreak of respiratory illness in China. Travelers are required to be monitored for up to 14 days after leaving China. Travelers should stay home and monitor their health within this 14-day period. A health official will contact you to give you additional instructions. Take your temperature with a thermometer 2 times a day and watch your health. If you develop a fever (100.4F/38C), cough or have difficulty breathing: Call your health department for advice before seeking care. If you can’t reach your health department, call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and that you were in China. For more information: CDC logo

Respiratory Disease Caused by a Novel Coronavirus in China

There is an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new virus centered in Wuhan, China. Possible infections with this new virus are now being reported in other parts of the world. While there are a number of veral cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) in the United States, based on current information, the immediate health risk from this virus to the general American public is considered LOW at this time.

Frequently updated information about this virus may be found by visiting our Health Alerts page.  

Additional Resources:

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States and accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths each year as reported by the Center for Heartbeat rythm with heartDisease and Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Key risk factors for heart disease include exposure to tobacco smoke, physical inactivity, and unmanaged chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and stress. However, there is no need to stress, Howard County Health Department and partner agencies offer a variety of resources and programs that will support you and your loved ones to reduce your risk for heart disease.  Visit the Population Health page for detailed information .

Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics 2019-2020Flu shot clinic graphic

Seasonal flu can be serious.  Make sure to protect yourself and your family by getting your flu shot!

Walk-In Flu Vaccination Clinics 
Monday - Friday (excluding holidays)
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

For additional information visit our Seasonal Flu Information page. 

Outbreak of Lung Disease Associated with E-Cigarette/Vaping Use 

CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung disease associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use.

For more information, including symptoms, visit our Health Alerts and Recalls page HERE

For vaping and the effects it can have on teens and young adults, visit the Tobacco Control Program page.

***For clinician information, visit our Tobacco Control Program page.***

(Information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Breaking the Cycle of Youth Suicide in Howard County

Youth Suicide Prevention Program Created - Uses Multiple Tactics to Help Save LivesHCHD 48 Suicide_13x19_Page_2637102850112366833

Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 in 2017.  In Howard County, suicide was the leading cause of death for youth ages 15-19 between 2014-2016.  According to the Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1 in 6 high school students and 1 in 5 middle school students have “seriously considered attempting suicide”. 

An evidence-based Youth Suicide Prevention Plan, accompanied by an “It’s OK to Ask” outreach campaign, was created to encourage both youth and adults to talk openly about suicide and suicide prevention.  Learn suicide warning signs and get tips about how to start a conversation by visiting 

Phase Two: Sources of Strength

The second phase of the Youth Suicide Prevention Program began in November with the implementation of the Sources of Strength Program. Sources of Strength is a best-practice youth suicide prevention project. Student peer leaders and adult advisors design and share Hope, Help and Strength-based messages with youth in the community to prevent suicide, bullying and substance use.

How does Sources of Strength work?

  • Creates an interactive peer leadership program that influences positive social change
  • Empowers students to create networks of connection and resiliency
  • Increases help-seeking behaviors
  • Promotes positive connections between peer leaders and adults

Follow the HCHD Sources of Strength Program on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s OK to Ask” and Sources of Strength campaign materials, information, resources and training are available at, or by contacting Kayla Blasher, Health Department Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator at 410-313-6240.

If you, or someone you know is in crisis, contact: Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center 24/7 at
410-531-6677 or text HOME to 741741 (Crisis Text Line)

***For Media*** Suicide Reporting Recommendations

The Doctor Is In - Episode Six - Vaping and Teen Health 

The Doctor Is In logo

The dangers of vaping and e-cigarette use have been in the news almost daily for the past several months. Despite the dangers of vaping, teens are using e-cigarettes more than ever. In this podcast, we discuss the dangers of vaping, especially for teens and young adults, and what programs are available in Howard County to help those who use e-cigarettes quit their habit. being undertaken by the Health Department and partners, to combat the stigma surrounding mental health and how to take action to help those experiencing depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.  Click HERE to hear the current podcast.

You can hear all of the episodes of The Doctor Is In at: 


Opioid/Heroin Overdose Prevention Training

For more information about substance use/abuse and prevention see our Behavioral Health page.  Opioid Overdose Response (Narcan) Training is now provided on a "drop-in" basis twice a month.  For questions or more information call 410-313-6202 or contact  (You must reside, work or attend school in Howard County to participate.) 

February 27, 2020 3:00-6:00pm Howard County Health Department
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD  21045
March 3, 2020 &
March 26, 2020
3:00-6:00pm Howard County Health Department
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD  21045

April 7, 2020 &
April 30, 2020

3:00-6:00pm Howard County Health Department
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD  21045
May 5, 2020 &
May 28, 2020
3:00-6:00pm Howard County Health Department
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD  21045

An Opioid Overdose Response Program Information video is available for viewing online. To view, click on the following link to Opioid/Heroin Overdose Training.

Suicide Prevention App for Smart Phones

Apple App Store:

Google Play Store:

Rabies Vaccinations for Your Pets 

Howard County Health Department and the Howard County Animal Control & Adoption Center hold monthly vaccination clinics to protect your dog, cat or ferret from the rabies virus. 

***February Clinic CANCELLED***Two veterinary technicians with a puppy on an exam table

8576 Davis Road
Columbia, MD 21045  

Monthly - 3rd Thursday
12:00pm and 1:30pm

Cost: $5.00 cash or check (payable to “Director of Finance”)


•  All pets must be on a leash or in a carrier!

• Pets must be at least 3 months old to receive a vaccination.

• For a 3-year vaccine, bring a copy of rabies vaccine history from a veterinarian. Otherwise, a 1-year vaccine will be administered.

• A County license for your pet may be obtained at an additional charge ($6.00 for altered, $24.00 for unaltered.) Proof of spay/neuter is required.

For more information, contact:
Bureau of Environmental Health at 
(410) 313-1773
Animal Control and Adoption Center at 
(410) 313-2780

Food-borne Illnesses

Important: If you think you are sick due to eating bad food or food product, contact the Bureau of Environmental Health at 410-313-1772.  After business cartoon of a tomato inundated by bacteria hours, leave a message with your call back information and we will return your call first thing the morning of the following day.

Calendar of Events


2/12 - PrEP for HIV Prevention - East Columbia Library, 6-8 pm
2/12 - LBHA Meeting 6-8 pm - HCHD
2/25 - Board of Health Meeting - HCHD
2/27 - Opioid Overdose Prevention Drop-In Training 3-6p - HCHD
2/27 - Know the Risks - E-cigarettes & Vaping - Savage Library, 7-8 pm

HCHD Participation in Your Health Event

Howard County Health Department (HCHD) is committed to helping educate the community we serve.  We proudly participate in a variety of local health fairs, educational series, and community events throughout the year.  If you are interested in having the Howard County Health Department present at your next event, please complete this online Community Health Education Request form.

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