The Scotland County Health Department kept busy in 2017 according to statistics recently released by Administrator Margaret Curry in the department’s annual report.

These activities included 37 communicable disease reports, ranging from influenza, and hepatitis C, to dog bites (rabies), and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Communicable disease surveillance is a multi-component system that monitors and analyzes data that includes – but is not limited to – demographic, geographic, and disease/condition-specific information. Accurate identification and timely reporting are integral parts of successful disease control, enabling public health agencies to identify contacts who may be infected or other individuals at risk for infection, determine the incidence and prevalence of disease in a specific area of the state, assist physicians and hospitals in evaluating illnesses in their patients and communities, and assist the public in making better decisions regarding their health and lifestyle.

The Health Department staff performed 932 home health visits, offering a variety of medical services via the department’s nursing staff for homebound patients.

The Scotland County Health Department had  1,213 contacts with women, infants, and children through the local WIC clinic.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a special supplemental nutrition program which provides services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to their 5th birthday based on nutritional risk and income eligibility.

The primary services provided are health screening, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and referrals to health care.  Supplemental food is provided at no cost to participants.

Past experience shows that pregnant women who participate in the WIC Program have fewer low birth weight babies, experience fewer infant deaths, see the doctor earlier in pregnancy and eat healthier.

The department hosted a number of specialty clinics in 2017.  A total of 160 patrons participated in the blood pressure clinics, with 182 individuals immunized during the annual flu shot clinic.

Overall, 1,258 patients visited the Scotland County Health Department during clinic hours for blood pressure monitoring, blood draws, lead testing, nail care, A1C testing, hemoglobin’s, cholesterol tests and much more.

Curry reported the department performed Gave 827 immunizations in 2017. Missouri’s immunization program is working to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases by providing vaccines to children and adolescents who cannot pay for them through the Vaccines for Children Program. Immunizations offered for children include Hepatitis B, DTaP, Polio; Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR); chickenpox, Hepatitis A and influenza.

In addition to the nursing side of the health department, Curry noted the local Environmental Public Health Specialist remained busy in 2017.  The office performed 142 food establishment inspections and follow up inspections, and handled 39 food complaints as well as 21 waste water complaints.