Madison County Board of Health members heard at their regular meeting recently that the county health department will be closed Nov. 17 in order for the staff to visit schools to provide free flu vaccine to all students whose parents have given approval.
County health nurse director Beth Heath said that they have had a good response from schools and parents on the vaccination program.
Heath also told the board the health department is also offering free pertussis/tetanus combination vaccines at the health department. Heath said the vaccine is being offered at no charge in response to a recent pertussis outbreak in Southern California.
Kelli Hinson, district environmental health director, gave an overview of the environmental health program and its responsibilities, which include on-site sewage management (septic tank permitting, inspections, reviews and planning, complaints and permitting septic pumpers); food services (restaurant inspections, permitting, plan reviews, education outreach and complaints); rabies control (requiring rabies vaccinations; rabies control officer; animal bite follow up; specimens testing and results notification and quarantines and isolations); private water source testing: swimming pools (public) and tourist accommodations (hotels, etc.).
The public health employee in Madison County is Cathy Kelley, with the assistance of another person from Oglethorpe County once a week. Kelley is also the rabies control officer.
There are 44 eating establishments in the county, including restaurants, schools and other facilities that serve food. (To review food service scores for county restaurants, go to publicathens.com, click on Madison County and then restaurant inspection scores.)
Hinson said there were 13 positive rabies cases during fiscal year 2010. There were also 52 animal/human investigations, 20 animal/animal investigations, 35 domesticated animals confined and 31 animals tested. There were also seven people treated for possible rabies exposure.
The next board of health meeting was set for Thursday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. at the health department.