Infection Prevention & Control Program

The Infection Prevention and Control Program is responsible for monitoring cases of known or suspected infectious diseases, including COVID-19, Lyme Disease, Meningitis, Tuberculosis and Zika; responding to disease outbreaks; and assuring case management and treatment of certain diseases.

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Monkeypox Resources

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States.

It’s not clear how the individuals were exposed to monkeypox but cases include people who self-identify as men who have sex with men.

CDC is urging healthcare providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have travel or specific risk factors for monkeypox and regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

CDC is working with state and local health officials to identify people who may have been in contact with individuals who have tested positive for monkeypox, so they can monitor their health.

CDC 2022 U.S. Monkeypox Investigation

CDC Monkeypox Information

What people should do:

People who may have symptoms of monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider. This includes anyone who:

  1. traveled to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where monkeypox cases have been reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox during the month before their symptoms began,
  2. reports contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or
  3. is a man who regularly has close or intimate contact with other men, including through an online website, digital application (“app”), or at a bar or party.

Individuals with health/medical questions about Monkeypox should first contact their healthcare provider. Individuals may also email the Health Department at [email protected] or call 410-313-6284.

For Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers in Howard County who believe they have a patient with Monkeypox should contact the Health Department Outbreaks and Surveillance team by calling 410-313-1412.

MDH Clinician Letter: Monkeypox update (May 19, 2022)

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Avian Flu Resources
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Avian Flu

Avian influenza is a virus that can cause severe illness and death disease in both wild and domestic birds (like chicken and duck). While avian influenza can be transmitted to humans, the illness is typically mild.

Infected birds can shed avian influenza viruses in their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces. Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact with the virus as it is shed, or through contact with surfaces that are contaminated with the virus.

Signs of disease in birds include swollen eyelids/sinuses/combs or wattles, purple or bluish discoloration of wattles and combs, respiratory snicking (a hacking sound made as the birds try to clear their upper respiratory tract), generally depressed birds, and unexplained deaths.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is working closely with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and HCHD, to assist poultry owners with the surveillance (monitoring behavior), reporting and control of avian influenza.

People with poultry are urged to remain vigilant and do everything possible to reduce the chances of an infectious disease being spread by people or animals. Please report any unusual or sudden increases in sick birds to MDA (410-841-5810) and HCHD (410-313-1412).

For additional information and resources visit the links below.

Communicable Disease Information
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Measles Information & Resources
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Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. Make sure you and your child are protected with measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Resources:

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Reportable Illnesses
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Laboratories and Healthcare Providers are required by law to report certain diseases to the local health department. Some diseases are recorded to become a part of the Local, State and National statistics. Other diseases require public health measures, or interventions. These diseases include, but are not limited to:

  • Foodborne illnesses
  • Hepatitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Meningitis
  • Outbreaks

The Howard County Health Department may contact you for information that will assist in the investigation, and help to prevent others from getting sick.

See Maryland's Infectious Disease Bureau or CDC.gov for specific disease information.

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Healthcare Providers
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Howard County Healthcare Providers who need to submit a reportable illness case to the Health Department should call 410-313-1412. Providers may also email [email protected]ntymd.gov for assistance.

MDH Letter: Clinical Consideration for Providers Caring for Ukrainians (May 18, 2022)

Pediatric Hepatitis Clinician Letter (April 2022)

MDH Memo: RSV Season Clinical & Prior Authorizations (September 13, 2021)

MDH RSV Clinical Update #2 (September 29, 2021)

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