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The Howard County Health Department

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National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) - April 18-25

National Infant Immunization Week is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger.

Several important milestones have been reached in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants worldwide. Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States.

In addition:

  • Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
  • In the 1950's, nearly every child developed measles, and unfortunately, some even died from this serious disease. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles.
  • Routine childhood immunization in one birth cohort prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths. It also saves about $13.5 billion in direct costs.
  • The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.

It's easy to think of these as diseases of the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get some of these diseases.

One example of the seriousness of vaccine preventable diseases is an increase in measles cases or outbreaks that were reported in 2014. Data from 2014 show a higher than normal number of measles cases nationally and in individual states. By mid-July, 566 measles cases, making up 18 outbreaks, had been reported.

Resources for Parents 

There is more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website. Click HERE for more.

Opioid Overdose Prevention Classes - Can You Save a Life?

The Howard County Health Department is offering FREE Opioid Overdose Response Program trainings to become certified to administer naloxone for Howard County residents 18 years of age and older.  Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose, perform rescue breathing, give intra-nasal naloxone (a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose by restoring a person's ability to breathe) and learn to care for the individual until help arrives. 


  • May 18, 2015
    10:00 a.m.

Howard County Health Department Administration Building
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD 21045 
Call our Bureau of Behavioral Health at 410-313-6202 for more information and to register.   Click HERE for flier

Opiod Overdose Response Program Video Class/Written Exam Now Available Online

Howard County Health Department offers an Opiod Overdose Response Program trainings to become certified to administer naloxone, the prescription medicine that reverses an opioid overdose.  In order to become certified you may either come to our class  OR you may watch the video course and take the test, THEN schedule your class to come into the Health Department and complete the Hands-On portion of the training to receive your certificate and Naloxone kit.  To view the online training click on the following: OORP Video Training Link 

The Flu 

According to an articly provided by the NPHIC "we are in the midst of a particularly bad flu season because the predominant strain - H3N2 - "is a nastier virus," plus two-thirds of the H3N2 samples are genetically different from this season's H3N2 vaccine component, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said during a Jan. 9 media briefing.  He urged physicians to prescribe antiviral medicine without hesitation if they suspect a patient might have the flu. As of Jan. 3, influenza was "widespread" in every state except Alaska, Arizona, California and Hawaii, and at least 26 children had died from complications of the flu, according to CDC's weekly flu report. The flu is hitting the very young and those 65 and older the hardest, Dr. Frieden said, adding that antiviral medicine could prevent "tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths." Depending upon the year, anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 people will die from the flu in the U.S., according to Dr. Joseph Bresee, a CDC Influenza Division branch chief.  Dr. Frieden noted that flu shots still are recommended because they "may still offer some protection and there are other strains of flu out there."

It is not too late to get the flu vaccine. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to build the antibodies the body needs to provide protection against the flu. 
Below are great resources: 


Additional information from the CDC about the 2014-2015 Flu season: This winter's flu season is likely to be a bad one. Each flu season different strains (or types) of the flu are dominant. This season Influenza A (H3N2) is the dominant strain. In years when this strain is dominant, there are more hospitalizations. The other challenge this year according to Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC Director, is that the H3N2 strain has mutated (changed) since the vaccine was made early in the year. 

  • What does this mean?  The vaccine may be less effective if you come in contact with the H3N2 type of virus (There are several other strains contained in the flu shot and you are protected against them).  It is not completely ineffective. You have some protection, but it may not be as robust as it was before the virus mutated.
  • What can I do?  The flu vaccine still remains THE best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu!  The second line of defense according to Dr. Frieden is tretment with anti-virals "to patients who may be at higher risk for flu complications. These include children younger than 2; adults 65 and older; people with asthma, heart disease, or weakened immune systems; pregnant women; American Indians/Alaska Natives; and people who are "morbidly obese."  (The Health Department recommends you ALWAYS speak to your healthcare provider for advice before beginning course of treatment.) 

To Request the Health Department at Your Next Health Event 


 Health Fair Graphic(2) 


Public Information Act Forms

PIA Request Web Graphic   <-- Click on the graphic for the form 

 Contact Numbers:

Administration:    410-313-6300 

Toll Free: 1-866-313-6300 

Columbia Health Center:    410-313-7500 

North Laurel Health Center:    410-313-0630 

Behavioral Health Services/Substance Abuse Services:    410-313-6202 

Environmental Health:    410-313-2640

Or you may send an e-mail to:

Howard County Health Department  8930 Stanford Blvd. Columbia, MD 21045