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2005 News Archives
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Dec 14, 2005: Holiday Recycling Information
Dec 5, 2005: Invitation for Bid for Dental Services
Oct 24, 2005: Flu Vaccine offered to General Public; First Cases Reported in St. Louis County
Sept 29, 2005: Flu Vaccine Supply Expected to be Adequate
Sept 16, 2005: Public Meeting to Present Draft of New Waste Management Plan Rescheduled for Oct. 10
Sept 2, 2005: County Health Center Open This Weekend to Treat Hurricane Katrina Refugees
Aug 30, 2005: Online Access to Birth Certificates Simplifies Driver's License Renewal
Aug 15, 2005: New Day for North County WIC Program
July 12, 2005: DOH Offers Vaccinations After More Rabid Bats Discovered
Jun 8, 2005: Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus at Eleven County Locations
May 20, 2005: St. Louis County STD Specialty Clinic Moving
May 11, 2005: DOH Offers Vaccinations After Two More Rabid Bats Discovered
May 2, 2005: DOH Reports First Rabid Bat of Season found in Webster Groves




Holiday Recycling Information Available

Information on how to recycle your holiday waste is available here.




Saint Louis County Department of Health is soliciting sealed bids for work as defined below.

INVITATION FOR BID
DENTAL SERVICES
FOR THE THREE HEALTH CENTERS AND
THE BUZZ WESTFALL JUSTICE CENTER

Sealed bids will be received at the office of the Administrator, Health Services, for Saint Louis County Department of Health, Health Department Building, 111 South Meramec, 3rd floor, Clayton, Missouri 63105, until 5:00 PM, prevailing Central time, Friday, January 13, 2006.

Bid specifications may be obtained from the County Website at www.stlouisco.com under News and Events or from the Health Department’s Website at www.stlouisco.com/doh/ on or after Monday, December 5, 2005. Faxed bids will not be accepted.

Bids must be in a sealed envelope and must be addressed to arrive in the Department of Health, 111 South Meramec, 3rd floor, Clayton, Missouri 63105, prior to 5:00 PM, prevailing Central Time, on the date of the bid closing.

If you do not have Internet access or cannot download the Invitation for Bid from the websites, please contact the office at 314-615-6415 or 314-615-6410, or email the department at jbialczak@stlouisco.com.

It is the bidder’s responsibility to check the website for any changes to the Invitation for Bid, which will be in the form of an addendum and posted on our website.

Saint Louis County Department of Health, the Owner, reserves the right to waive informalities in bids, and to reject any and all bids submitted.


Saint Louis County, Missouri



Flu Vaccine offered to General Public; First Cases Reported in St. Louis County
Saint Louis County, MO - (October 24, 2005) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on flu shot availability were expanded today to include everyone who wishes to be immunized. Previously, high-risk individuals were given priority in order to assure that they had easy access to the vaccine.

This broadened availability was made more important today as public health officials in St. Louis County are reporting the first diagnosis of influenza in the county this season. The Influenza Type A virus was identified in a 37-year-old woman and a 17-year-old woman who reside in the north-county area. Symptoms of flu include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat and cough.

“Today is the first day that the general public will have access to flu vaccine in the St. Louis area and this expanded availability coincides with the appearance of our first influenza cases,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.

Health officials said there appear to be adequate vaccine supplies at this time in the St. Louis area. Everyone should consider the benefit of a flu shot and take advantage of the many locations in our community where they are available.

"Whether you got a flu shot or not, disease prevention depends on more than just vaccine," Gunn said. One of the most effective deterrents to disease is plain old hand washing with soap and water.

Good personal hygiene makes for good public health. To keep from spreading a "bug" - whether it's the "flu bug" or the common cold, here are some simple things everyone can - and should - do:
1. Try to keep a distance of three feet away from others.
2. Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
3. Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
4. Stay home if you are ill.
5. Call your doctor on the phone if you can avoid going in to the office.
6. Wear a surgical mask when going in for medical care.

The arrival of flu in St. Louis should serve as a reminder for those who visit or care for anyone at high risk of flu-related complications. Medical and long-term care facilities should carefully monitor employees and guests for respiratory illness. Access to patients and residents should be restricted if a healthcare worker or visitor has symptoms of flu-like illness. For more information on flu and communicable disease control, visit www.stlouisco.com/doh/.


Flu Vaccine Supply Expected To Be Adequate
SAINT LOUIS COUNTY, MO (September 29, 2005) – Based on current projections, an adequate supply of vaccine means area residents should have no difficulty getting a flu shot this year.

Unlike last flu season, when a shortage of vaccine lead to long lines at distribution centers and confusion over who could or should get a flu shot, there will be several opportunities to get vaccinations this year. Patients with special health conditions are eligible to get shots as early as Saturday, Oct. 1. Vaccine for the rest of the population will be available starting Monday, Oct. 24.

“We expect to have enough influenza vaccine this year to treat everyone who wants to be immunized,” said Saint Louis County Department of Health Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn. “We urge people to get a flu shot to reduce the chances of illness and serious complications.”

Starting Oct. 1 anyone meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines listed below should get a flu shot:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Suffer from chronic illnesses such as heart disease; kidney disease; lung diseases like asthma; metabolic diseases like diabetes; blood disorders like anemia; a weakened immune system caused by cancer or cancer treatment; HIV/AIDS; or steroid therapy; or certain conditions such as neuromuscular disorders that can cause breathing problems
  • 6 to 23 months of age
  • Pregnant
  • Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Healthcare worker involved in face-to-face, hands-on patient care
  • Live with or care for one or more children less than six months of age

Those who are between the ages of 2 and 64, and in good health, should wait until Oct. 24th to get vaccinated.

The flu mist vaccine is available anytime for those between the ages of 5 and 49 who are in good health.

“Whether you got a flu shot or not, disease prevention depends on more than just vaccine," said Mike Williams, Communicable Disease Control Services Manager at Saint Louis County Department of Health. “One of the most effective deterrents to disease is plain old hand washing with soap and water.”

Good personal hygiene makes for good public health. To keep from spreading a "bug" - whether it's the "flu bug" or the common cold, here are some simple things everyone can - and should - do:

  • Try to keep a distance of three feet away from others.
  • Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
  • Stay home if you are ill.
  • Call your doctor on the phone if you can avoid going in to the office.
  • Wear a surgical mask when going in for medical care.
A list of vaccination sites and dates is posted on the DOH web site: www.stlouisco.com/doh. or by calling the Saint Louis Regional Flu Information Line at 314-644-4358

Public Meeting to Present Draft of New Waste Management Plan Rescheduled for Oct. 10

St. Louis County, MO - (September 14, 2005) – The Saint Louis County Health Department has rescheduled a public meeting to provide updates on recommendations for the new waste management plan for Monday, Oct 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hancock Middle School, 9101 S. Broadway. The meeting, originally scheduled for Sept. 19, is being rescheduled due to a scheduling conflict.

In July and August, the Department held a series of meetings with the public and industry-regional partners to gather input on priorities. Drawing on those comments and the 2004 report done by RW Beck on waste management needs, the Department is preparing a plan and necessary code language to implement the plan.

“We look forward to the public’s continued input on this important process,” said Janet Williams, Director, Division of Environmental Protection. “The input we have received to date has been key in ensuring we are aware of the public’s priorities and concerns. Of course, the public needs to be involved because it is ultimately the County residents who will be affected by the outcome of the planning process.”

Following the collection of comments from these two September meetings, the Department expects to have its final recommendations prepared for County Council review by the end of the year.


County Health Center Open This Weekend to Treat Hurricane Katrina Refugees

St. Louis County, MO – (Sept. 2, 2005) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health will offer medical treatment for Hurricane Katrina refugees during the holiday weekend.

The department’s South County Health Center at 4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd. will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday Sept. 3, 4 and 5. County residents are asked to visit the clinics during their normal operating hours.

Services that will be offered all three days include, immunizations, prescriptions if needed, evaluations for medical conditions, and family mental health.

The clinic is just south of Gravois Road.

The health department’s two other clinics, John C. Murphy Family Health Center, 6065 Helen Ave., Berkeley, and the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn, will continue their normal hours of operation.


Online Access to Birth Certificates Simplifies Driver's License Renewal

St. Louis County, MO – (Aug. 30, 2005) – County residents who need certified birth certificates to renew their Missouri driver’s license can obtain them without coming to the Saint Louis County Government Center in Clayton. Birth and death certificates are available through the Internet or can be ordered through the mail.

The Missouri Department of Revenue is now requiring proof of citizenship or lawful presence as well as proof of identity to renew driver’s licenses. Certified copies of birth certificates are acceptable as proof of citizenship or lawful presence. Birth records for the entire state of Missouri are available from 1920 to the present. Death records are available for St. Louis County from 1883 to the present. Death records for the rest of the state are available from 1980 to the present.

A certified birth certificate or death certificate can be applied for online by clicking onto www.stlouisco.com/doh and following the instructions. Birth certificates and death certificates can also be obtained in person at the Vital Records office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Written requests may be mailed to: St. Louis County Vital Records, 111 S. Meramec, Clayton, MO. 63105.

Requests must include:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Hospital where birth or death occurred
  • Your relationship to the person named on the record
  • Purpose of the copies
  • Birth record requests must include the father’s name and mother’s maiden name

Each record costs $15 and should be made payable to Vital Records. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope and allow two weeks for delivery.


New Day for North County WIC Program

St. Louis County, MO – (Aug. 15, 2005) The Saint Louis County Department of Health’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) has changed its days of operation at the North County YWCA Head Start Center, 10725 Vorhof Drive, from Fridays to Tuesdays. The hours remain from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Across the nation, the WIC program serves nearly one out of every two infants born in the U.S., and their mothers. In Saint Louis County, the WIC program issued checks for over 97,000 food packages for county residents in 2004. Food packages contain nutritious foods such as infant formula, juice, peanut butter, iron fortified cereal, eggs, cheese, and milk.

WIC provides nutritious supplemental foods and individualized nutrition education and counseling for at-risk pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children to age five. WIC makes critical referrals to other health care and public assistance programs as needed. Breast-feeding education and support groups are open to all residents of Saint Louis County.

"Our local WIC clinic staff offers top-notch nutrition services to our WIC families," said Dr. Dolores Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. "We know that WIC mothers, infants and children are getting a healthy start. WIC is there to help anyone who meets the income guidelines, and is at medical or nutritional risk," she said. WIC has five sites located throughout Saint Louis County.

Who is eligible for WIC services? Guidelines are based on income and family size. For example, a family of three earning up to $29, 767 or a family of eight earning up to $59,922 annually would qualify. Pregnant women are counted as two family members. The WIC nutrition staff determines medical or nutritional eligibility.

"Our WIC office handles 200 calls a day from county residents," said Lynn Murphy, program manager of WIC and Nutrition Services, "including college students, single mothers, and families coping with layoffs, temporary unemployment or other cash flow problems. It can be hard meeting the cost of infant formula, which can cost as much as $3 to $6 per can of concentrate." In 2004, WIC provided over $6.4 million in Food Instruments for nutritional supplemental food in Saint Louis County.

For more information about WIC, please call the Saint Louis County Department of Health at 314-615-0685.


DOH Offers Vaccinations After More Rabid Bats Discovered

St. Louis County, MO – (July 12, 2005)- In response to an unusually high number of rabid bats, The Saint Louis County Department of Health will hold a rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats owned by county residents from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, July 21 at Tilles Park, Litzsinger and McKnight Roads.

Eleven rabid bats have been discovered in the county so far t his year, said Ronald Twillman, DOH Program Manager of Vector Control and Veterinary Services. The most recent cases were in Kirkwood, Webster Groves and University City. Last year, 15 rabid bats were identified over the course of the entire summer.

“We had warm weather earlier than usual this year which brings out the insects and the bats who feed on them,” Twillman said.

There is a $10 charge for each vaccination. Dogs should be on leashes and cats in carriers. Appointments are not required. Rabid bats are an annual occurrence in St. Louis County, and often a household member or pet is exposed to rabies by getting too close. Since rabies can be readily passed from wild animals to domestic pets, the first line of defense is to make sure all pet cats and dogs are properly vaccinated against rabies, as required by county law, Twillman said

If you find a bat in a living area of your home - such as a bedroom - you should leave the room, close the door, and call Animal Control, keeping the bat confined until Animal Control Officers arrive. If you find a bat outdoors, don't handle it, especially if it's on the ground or unable to fly. Call Animal Control for assistance at 314-831-6500 (north county) or 314-726-6655 (south and west county). After hours, call the St. Louis County Police to dispatch an Animal Control Officer.

Be sure to report all animal bites by calling Animal Control. It's vital to teach children not to approach or touch wild animals or unfamiliar pets. For more information on animal control and rabies, visit www.stlouisco.com/doh or www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/ or call the nearest Saint Louis County Department of Health Animal Shelter.
Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus at Eleven County Locations

St. Louis County, MO – (June 8, 2005) Saint Louis County Department of Health officials are urging residents to take steps to eliminate breeding grounds after mosquitoes collected in 11 locations tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). “There have been no reported human cases of WNV in St. Louis County this year, but positive mosquito tests remind us that preventative measures are important,” said Dr. Michael Williams, director of the Division of Communicable Disease Control Services and Emergency Preparedness. The mosquitoes that tested positive for WNV were trapped in Affton, Manchester, Frontenac, Chesterfield; unincorporated Fenton, Calverton Park, Sunset Hills (two separate locations), Clayton, unincorporated Creve Coeur and Oakland. “Even though serious WNV cases in humans are rare, it is important to minimize our exposure. We can do this by eliminating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed and multiply and by using repellants,” Williams said.
Here are the steps residents can take to reduce the opportunities for mosquitoes to flourish:
  • Standing water: don't stand for it! Every 2 or 3 days, drain water from garbage cans, buckets, toys, flowerpots, wading pools, pet dishes, and other objects that can collect water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Look for products containing the active ingredient methoprene or Bacicllus thuringiensis israelensis to place in birdbaths or ponds, to prevent mosquitoes from developing.
  • Keep gutters cleaned out, and repair any tears in door and window screens.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and light colors when outdoors, and minimize exposure between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET. Always follow manufacturer's directions.
The Health Department routinely collects mosquito samples to help determine where to focus control efforts.
To find out where the County's vector control crew will be spraying, call (314) 615-4-B-U-G for the nightly mosquito-spraying schedule.

For more information on mosquito prevention, contact the County Vector Control office at 314-727-3097 or log on to www.stlouisco.com/doh/west_nile_info.html.



St. Louis County STD Specialty Clinic Moving

St. Louis County, MO – (May 20, 2005)- The Saint Louis County Department of Health has announced the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Specialty Clinic will move from its facility in Berkeley on Monday, June 20 to new, expanded facilities at the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn.

The last day for STD services at the John C. Murphy Family Health Center, 6065 Helen Ave., is Thursday, June 16. All other clinical and health services will continue to operate at Murphy.
“The move to North Central represents a wonderful opportunity to refine and build upon the strong tradition begun at Murphy,” said Joan Bialczak, Health Services Division Director. Employees currently assigned to the STD program at Murphy will move to North Central.

Hours for STD service are from 8:00-11:15 a.m. and 12:30-3:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursday’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. The center is closed on the first Thursday of each month. The phone number for the STD clinic at North Central will be (314) 679-7800.



DOH Offers Vaccinations After Two More Rabid Bats Discovered

St. Louis County, MO – (May 11, 2005)- To give pet owners an opportunity to have their animals vaccinated against rabies, Saint Louis County Department of Health will hold rabies vaccination clinics for pets owned by county residents. The rabies vaccination clinics follow the discovery of three rabid bats in the county in the past three weeks.

The vaccinations will be available Monday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the North Animal Shelter, 4100 Seven Hills Drive in North St. Louis County and Thursday, May 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the South Animal Shelter, 77 Hunter Road, Ladue. There is a $5 charge for each vaccination. Dogs should be on leashes and cats in carriers. Appointments are not required.

Ron Twillman, DOH Program Manager of Vector Control and Veterinary Services, said rabid bats are an annual occurrence in St. Louis County, and often a household member or pet is exposed to rabies by getting too close. Since rabies can be readily passed from wild animals to domestic pets, the first line of defense is to make sure all pet cats and dogs are properly vaccinated against rabies, as required by county law, Twillman said.

The second rabid bat of the season was discovered May 5 in the bedroom of a home in the 7100 block of Linden Avenue, Maplewood. Two pet cats that had not been vaccinated will have to be tested for rabies. Another rabid bat was recovered May 9 in the 6700 block of Raymond Avenue in Pagedale. The first rabid bat of the season was recovered in Webster Groves on April 25.

If you find a bat in a living area of your home - such as a bedroom - you should leave the room, close the door, and call Animal Control, keeping the bat confined until Animal Control Officers arrive. If you find a bat outdoors, don't handle it, especially if it's on the ground or unable to fly. Call Animal Control for assistance at 314-831-6500 (north county) or 314-726-6655 (south and west county). After hours, call the St. Louis County Police to dispatch an Animal Control Officer.

Be sure to report all animal bites by calling Animal Control. It's vital to teach children not to approach or touch wild animals or unfamiliar pets. For more information on animal control and rabies, visit www.stlouisco.com/doh or www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/ or call the nearest Saint Louis County Department of Health Animal Shelter.


DOH Reports First Rabid Bat of Season found in Webster Groves

St. Louis County, MO – (May 2, 2005)- Animal Control officers with the Saint Louis County Department of Health retrieved a bat on April 25 in the 1200 block of Rock Hill Road in Webster Groves after a resident reported finding it in his basement. Laboratory results showed the bat tested positive for rabies. A pet cat, which was not current in its rabies vaccination, tested negative for rabies.

This is the first rabid bat this season in Saint Louis County. Health officials urge people to be aware of and cautious around wildlife, especially bats, and to avoid direct contact with any animal that is behaving strangely. Children should be taught to stay a safe distance away from any unknown animals.

Ron Twillman, DOH Program Manager of Vector Control and Veterinary Services, said people should check with their veterinarians on the immunization status of their pets. Because rabies can be readily passed from wild animals to domestic pets, the first line of defense is to make sure all cats and dogs are properly vaccinated, as required by county law. Once transmitted, the disease of rabies has no cure and is almost always fatal.

Most bats don't carry rabies, and in fact perform a beneficial service by eating large quantities of insects. But if one bat in colony contracts rabies, chances are it will spread to other members of the colony. For more information, about pet vaccinations, or to report animal bites, please call the Saint Louis County Department of Health, North Animal Shelter at 314-831-6500; or the South Shelter at 314-726-6655, or visit www.stlouisco.com/doh and click on Animal Control.