MCHD to begin night-time spraying for mosquitoes 05.30.2023

May 30, 2023

MCHD to begin night-time spraying for mosquitoes

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) has mosquito traps placed throughout the county to help determine the correct moment to begin night-time spraying to deal with the irritating insects. After reviewing recent collections, officials with Vector Services say trap counts have reached a threshold that requires the commencement of control activities. Spraying throughout Mobile and the county will start this week.

Mobile County has been divided into 50 spray zones. Areas treated are determined by trap data, complaints, and observations by MCHD Inspector. Vector Services is rotating first- and second-generation chemical insecticides and organophosphates so that no tolerance is built up in the mosquito population. In 2022, Vector Services sprayed 760 nights that covered 666,543 acres.

MCHD has an airplane — a Cessna 182Q — that will spray insecticides along coastal areas and in other places that are inaccessible by truck. Final calibrations are needed before it is put into service this summer. The plane will be used when there are large hatchings of saltwater mosquitoes, which are different from the Aedes albopictus mosquito that is the main disease-carrying mosquito. The saltwater mosquito is more of a nuisance, but it can also carry disease.

“MCHD provides a comprehensive program through its Vector Services department. This includes mosquito surveillance, disease surveillance, public health education, larviciding (larvae control), and adulticiding (adult mosquito control) to track, monitor, and control mosquitoes,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County. “Vector Services also assesses the potential for mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and St. Louis Encephalitis through its sentinel chicken program.

“There are more than 50 species of mosquitoes in Mobile County and in past years some mosquito pools have tested positive for these mosquito-borne diseases.”

The chicks are placed in 13 strategically located coops throughout the county once they reach maturity. In 2022, there were 512 samples submitted. Eight chickens tested positive for WNV while one more tested positive for EEE.

To learn more about the department, you may visit From there, you can find a link and a QR code to access the new online portal for ordering services. A mosquito complaint may also be submitted to Vector Services by calling 251-690-8124 or via email at

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by grease blockage 05.30.2023

May 30, 2023

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by grease blockage

MOBILE, Ala. — Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) responded to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) on May 25 at 2694 Government Boulevard. Approximately 156 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Eslava Creek because of a grease blockage.

MAWSS crews have cleared the blockage and are taking steps to prevent further overflows at this location.

Grease blockages occur when foods containing fats, oil or grease are put down the drain. MAWSS provides free containers for grease recycling. You can learn more about the program by visiting

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Eslava Creek for recreational purposes because of this overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash their hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

CDC reports on potential risk for new mpox cases 05.23.2023

May 23, 2023

CDC reports on potential risk for new mpox cases

MOBILE, Ala. — In the United States, cases of mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) have declined since peaking in August 2022, but the outbreak is not over. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to receive reports of cases that reflect ongoing community transmission in the United States and internationally.

Last week, the CDC and local partners were investigating a cluster of mpox cases in the Chicago area. From April 17 to May 5, 2023, a total of 12 confirmed and one probable case of mpox were reported to the Chicago Department of Public Health. All cases were among symptomatic men. None of the patients have been hospitalized.

“Although vaccine-induced immunity is not complete, vaccination continues to be one of the most important prevention measures,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County. “Warmer weather and skin to skin contact increases the risk for mpox infection.” CDC expects new cases among previously vaccinated people to occur, but people who have completed their two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine series may experience less severe symptoms than those who have not.

Although approximately 1.2 million JYNNEOS mpox vaccine doses have been administered in the United States since the beginning of the outbreak, only 23 percent of the estimated population at risk for mpox has been fully vaccinated, reported from CDC sources. To help prevent a renewed outbreak during the spring and summer months, CDC urges clinicians to be on alert for new mpox cases and encourage vaccination for people at risk.

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program patients wanting the vaccine should make an appointment at 251-690-8889. Other individuals interested in receiving the vaccine may register through the Mobile County Health Department’s Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Control at this link —

Spring and summer seasons in 2023 could lead to a resurgence of mpox as people gather for festivals and other events. As a result, the CDC sent out a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Update to inform clinicians and public health agencies about the potential for new clusters or outbreaks of mpox cases and to provide resources on clinical evaluation, treatment, vaccination, and testing.

Family Health doctor draws praise 05.19.2023

May 19, 2023

Family Health doctor draws praise

MOBILE, Ala. — Prior to the current practice of medical professionals specializing in a particular field, it was common for a family medical provider to provide personal care for multiple generations of a family. This intimate knowledge would help the doctors identify and manage chronic health issues in older generations while working to prevent them in younger generations.

This style of personal care can still be found at Family Health, the primary care division of the Mobile County Health Department. Proudly stated on the Family Health logo is “Healthcare for all generations.”

A recent patient survey for Dr. Tonya Dobbs, a pediatrician at the Eight Mile Health Center, included the following statement from a patient:

“Dr. Dobbs was my doctor as a child and is now my children’s doctor. I love the Eight Mile Clinic.”

Dr. Dobbs, who has been on the Family Health staff since 2006, was thrilled with the review.

“It is a joy being a pediatrician,” Dr. Dobbs said. “I get to witness the growth and development of children through all ages and to be able to provide healthcare to multiple generations in a family is and honor that I truly cherish.”

To make a medical appointment, call 251-690-8889. To learn more, please visit

Board of Health chairman visits Vector Services 05.12.2023

May 12, 2023

Board of Health chairman visits Vector Services

MOBILE, Ala. — Dr. Michael L. Sternberg, who serves as Chairman of the Mobile County Board of Health, received a tour of the Mobile County Health Department’s Vector Services today. Joining him was his son Sam, who is a student at Auburn University.

Showing Dr. Sternberg the facility located in Downtown Mobile were Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Heath Officer of Mobile County; Derrick Scott, director of the Bureau of Environmental Health; and Patricia Poellnitz, the Administrative Support Specialist of Vector Services. Michael McNeil also discussed how he cares for the hens on a daily basis.

Vector Services performs both Mosquito and Rodent Control services for the citizens of Mobile County. A vector is any insect, rodent, or animal capable of harboring or transmitting diseases to humans.

Much of the tour revolved around the sentinel chicken program. Since 1985, Vector Services has monitored sentinel chickens placed throughout the county to help detect the presence of viruses carried by mosquitoes. In April, MCHD received 100 newly hatched chicks that were placed in a cage heated by lamps. The hens were recently moved to a larger hen house now that they have grown.

Once mature, the chickens are vaccinated for fowl pox, and the initial blood draw is made to ensure they test negative for any diseases. At that point, the hens are banded for identification and tracking purposes. The birds are dispersed to 13 coops located in various predetermined locations throughout Mobile County.

Blood samples are collected weekly from the wings of two hens at each location. MCHD processes the blood samples and sends them to a lab in Tampa, Fla. Test results are usually received within the submitted week and can reveal the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and St. Louis Encephalitis.

A new online portal is now available to help the public request assistance from Vector Services and receive feedback on their request to deal with mosquitoes or rodents. To learn more about the department, you may visit From there, you can find a link and a QR code to access the new online portal for ordering services. The telephone numbers for those without internet access are 251-690-8124 for Mosquito Control and 251-690-8819 for Rodent Control.

MCHD observes National Women’s Health Week with events 05.12.2023

May 12, 2023

MCHD observes National Women’s Health Week with events

MOBILE, Ala. — The Health Equity Office’s focus for the month of May is Women’s Health Care which is observed annually in May. May 14th to May 20th is recognized as National Women’s Health Week. The goal of this observance is to empower women in such a way that they can make health a priority. It also equips women with the knowledge to help other women on their journeys to improve their health. With a little self-determination and healthcare workers, we believe every woman can live a healthy and happy life.

The U.S. Department of Health started the celebrations for Women’s Health Care Month. Caught in the rigorous demands of work and family, women often forego an active lifestyle and a healthy diet to keep up with these demands. However, the consequences of neglecting health can be dire. When women fail to take care of their health, hereditary illnesses may afflict them sooner and with more severity. A sedentary lifestyle may also result in illnesses that can be avoided with a good lifestyle.

With a growing focus on personal health, it is extremely important for all women and girls, especially those with underlying health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and women 65 years and older, to take care of their health. Taking care of yourself and your loved ones should always be a top priority. This is also the month to pledge to take better care of yourself and live the healthy, active life of which you have always dreamt!

What are some women’s health issues?

The most common health issues among women include strokes, diabetes, maternal health issues, urinary tract infections, sexual health, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.

Things Women Can Do in Observance of Women’s Health Care Month

1. Schedule Medical Check-up – contact your doctors for a full-body medical exam and decide to take the steps needed to treat an ailment identified.
2. Join the gym – Pledge to take care of yourself during Women’s Health Care Month. Sign up for a gym membership, and make sure to attend regularly. A healthy weight and an active lifestyle are essential for good health.
3. Get your vaccines – During Women’s Health Care Month, check if you are up to date with all your vaccines and booster shots. If not, get an appointment for the pending shots. Vaccines are mandatory to prevent many severe illnesses.
4. Eat healthy food – pledge to cut out alcohol, tobacco, and unhealthy foods from your diet. Stick to clean eating and develop a diet that addresses all your health needs. This is crucial for a healthy life.

Health Equity Office Women’s Health Month Activities

May 6th – Partnered with NSPIRE U for “Sisters for Life Health Expo
May 13th – MCHD Women’s Health Center Outreach & Questionnaire
May 18th – MOWA Health Fair – MMU performs Women’s Health Screens
May 19th – Virtual Desktop Yoga

Health Officer provides information on xylazine (tranq) exposure 05.11.2023

May 11, 2023

Health Officer provides information on xylazine (tranq) exposure

MOBILE, Ala. — Drug-related morbidity and mortality remain high in our society. In Mobile County, 93 people died from unintentional overdoses in 2021, and many more experienced non-fatal overdoses.

The situation has only continued to grow worse. Beginning in 2001, drug dealers began mixing xylazine, an animal sedative medication, with street drugs. There has also been a rise in the number of non-fatal overdoses and skin and soft tissue infections across the United States.

Xylazine – also known as “tranq” — is is added to street opioids for synergistic effects and/or to prolong their effects, particularly that of fentanyl, which has a short duration of action. Clinically, its predominant effect is profound sedation without significant vital sign abnormalities. While xylazine does not cause severe respiratory depression observed with opioid intoxication, the profound mental status depression may cause airway compromise leading to suffocation.

Naloxone – which also goes by the brand name Narcan — should be administered for respiratory depression because xylazine and fentanyl are typically found together.

“The Mobile County Health Department is alerting providers to the presence of xylazine in Mobile County and Baldwin County,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer of Mobile County. “Inpatient treatment for opioid withdrawal may be more difficult than standard opioid withdrawal protocols and require additional pharmacologic treatments if the patient is also withdrawing from xylazine. The availability of point-of-care testing for xylazine is limited.”

For additional information on xylazine, you may visit

“The Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program is a vital resource as we continue to see increases in fatal and non-fatal overdoses in our community,” said Danielle Simpson, the MCHD Overdose Prevention program administrator. “If you or someone you know that is struggling with addiction, our team is available to provide harm reduction strategies, overdose prevention education, and peer recovery services.”

To learn more about the OD2A program, call 251-410-OD2A (6322). OD2A focuses on the complex and changing nature of the drug overdose epidemic. It highlights the need for an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and cohesive public health approach.

Additional information about the distribution of Narcan can be found on MCHD’s news smartphone app called “My MCHD Health Check.” A message can be found under the “MORE” section of the app.

The MCHD app is available for download for free in the App Store and Google Play. Search “My MCHD Health Check” or visit the following link —

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