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News from HCHD

Howard County Among Top Twenty Healthiest Counties in the U.S. for Raising Children

A U.S. News and World Reports article "America’s 50 Healthiest Counties for Kids represents a national, county-level assessment of how health and environmental factors affect the well-being of children younger than 18. It highlights counties that feature, among other child-friendly data, fewer infant deaths, fewer low birth weight babies, fewer deaths from injuries, fewer teen births and fewer children in poverty. Besides the data displayed here, the percentage of children without health insurance, air quality (except for Alaska and Hawaii), rates of adult smoking and adult obesity, and access to physicians and exercise opportunities also were considered. All the variables were equally weighted."  Howard County was ranked number 13 out of 50.  Read the article HERE. 


A Third Case of MERS CoV Now Found in the U.S.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The third case case of MERS was confirmed over the weekend of May 10-11, 2014.  It has now been confirmed that this case was not contracted by face-to-face contact at all, rather the patient had been exposed at an earlier time but carried the antibodies (part of your immune system that helps fight infectious and toxic substances that enter the body).  The man who is reported to have had only mild cold-like symptoms is now longer sick.

On May 11, 2014 the second case of MERS was confirmed by the CDC and the Florida Department of Health.  This individual was also a healthcare worker who lives and resides in Saudi Arabia and came to the United States to visit family.  This case is NOT linked to the case of MERS reported in Indiana.

On Friday, May 2, 2014, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the first case of MERS was reported in the United States. A case of MERS in the United States was not unexpected by the CDC who has been anticipating and planning for this eventuality since 2012 when the first cases were seen in Saudi Arabia and Europe.

In general, the CDC believes this to be low risk, unless you are in close contact with a person infected with  the virus.

To learn more, visit the following CDC resources:

MERS - Questions & Answers  

* Guidance for Travel CDC - Traveler's Health 

*  CDC - MERS CoV Frequently Asked Questions 


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