Communicable disease is defined as "illness due to a specific infectious agent or its toxic products that arises through transmission of that agent or its products from an infected person, animal, or reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector, or the inanimate environment." Communicable disease pathogens include bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and prions.
Communicable diseases can have a significant impact on the population. The surveillance and control of such diseases is an important part of protecting the public's health. The Communicable Disease program primarily deals with infectious diseases that are reportable by law.
The program also deals with other communicable diseases of public health significance, such as:
For additional information please visit the NC Communicable Disease website.
The program responsibilities include:
Rabies is a vaccine preventable disease in humans, dogs, cats and ferrets as well as some domestic livestock. All mammals are susceptible to rabies and it is nearly always fatal. Rabies can be prevented in humans with timely and appropriate treatment. In North Carolina the disease most often occurs in wild animals especially skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes. Raccoon rabies is present in the raccoon population in virtually every North Carolina county. For additional information on Rabies please visit:
STD and HIV prevention and control services includes providing clinical services, education and awareness efforts and monitoring disease trends through surveillance and epidemiology. STD Clinic provides testing, treatment and education at no cost to the client for:
Our Immunization Clinic provides vaccines to people of all ages, including those traveling internationally. Public Health offers vaccines for preventable diseases to reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases within Union County. The following vaccines are offered through our immunization clinic:
In addition to vaccines, Blood Titer testing is available for the following:
With the mission of public health to promote health, prevent disease and protect the community, International Travel Immunizations allow us to assist those traveling internationally the opportunity for disease protection. A Registered Nurse will review travel itinerary, provide immunization education and vaccination(s). A Vaccination record will be provided to you for your records.
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The purpose of the Union County Children's Environmental Health Childhood Lead Prevention Program is to protect and improve the health of children form the harmful effects of lead through the implementation of the North Carolina Rules Governing Lead Poisoning Prevention in Children, 15A NCAC 18A .3100. Union County Children's Environmental Health coordinates and assists in the environmental investigation of a child who has been lead poisoned.
Lead is a heavy metal that was used for many years in construction products (paint, solder), gasoline, and other products. The deterioration of these lead containing products produces lead poisoning hazards in homes, buildings, and surrounding areas. Lead may also be found in other sources such as vinyl mini blinds, jewelry, imported candy, toys, glazed pottery, and folk remedies.
Lead serves no useful purpose in the human body and even small amounts of lead that are ingested or inhaled can enter the bloodstream and cause a variety of health effects. Lead exposure causes damage to the brain and peripheral nervous system. Lead poisoning may result in behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, or even death. Exposure to lead is particularly harmful to children under the age of six, due to its effect on their rapidly developing brains and nervous systems. Lead poisoning is 100% preventable with proper education and training.
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
For more information on mold and moisture in your home, please read "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home" at: www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html or the North Carolina Healthy Homes Program web page at: http://nchealthyhomes.com/.