The Epidemiology Department reports communicable (contagious) diseases, as required by Alabama State law, and provides testing as necessary in the prevention of the spread of these diseases. The department also directs field investigations of outbreaks and clusters, involving two or more cases of diseases, including foodborne illness (food poisoning). The Mobile County Health Department is a participant in the National Epidemiology Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS). The system is used for electronic reporting, tracking and monitoring of communicable diseases which targets preventive health care.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
For more information visit:
Vaccine and testing locations
The Mobile County Health Department’s COVID-19 Response Team is now offering vaccinations (Pfizer or Moderna) and rapid testing at three locations for individuals 6 months and older.
These services are offered at Festival Centre shopping center (Suite 101-A; corner of Airport Boulevard and Montlimar Drive); the Public Health Response Unit located at the Semmes Health Center (3810 Wulff Road East); and the Southwest Public Health Center (5580 Inn Road in Tillman’s Corner).
Services are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are no out-of-pocket costs. While no appointment is required to receive COVID-19 vaccine, individual appointments must be made for rapid testing online at this link — https://appointments.mchd.org.
Individuals requesting a molecular test (Abbott ID Now) or a PCR test (through LabCorp) for personal preference or travel must be tested at a Family Health location. Appointments for these specific tests may be made by calling 251-690-8889.
Those coming for their booster shot should bring the CDC vaccination card that was presented to them after their primary shot. If you no longer have the card, please be prepared to wait for the MCHD staff to retrieve your information from the statewide vaccination system.
For those wishing to make an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, MCHD is now offering Moderna or Pfizer vaccinations at several of its Family Health locations conveniently located throughout Mobile County. To secure a time to receive the shot, please call 251-690-8889.
To learn the latest on MCHD’s vaccine events, visit www.MCHDcares.com or call 251-410-MCHD (6243).
What is Influenza?
Influenza (commonly called the “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Although most healthy people recover from the flu without complications, some people, such as older people, young children and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious complications from the flu.
Some risks may include: bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions (congestive heart failure, asthma, diabetes, etc.). Children and adults may develop sinus problems and ear infections.
Be Aware of Common Flu Symptoms
Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Tiredness (can be extreme)
- Diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults)
- Sore throat
Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms.
Know How the Flu Spreads
The flu usually spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets when people who are infected cough or sneeze. People occasionally may become infected by touching something with the influenza virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. Healthy adults may be able to infect others one day before getting symptoms and up to five days after getting sick. Therefore, it is possible to give someone the flu before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.
Protection Against the Flu
The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. Two kinds of flu vaccines are available in the United States:
- The flu shot, which is an inactivated vaccine (containing a killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
- The nasal-spray flu vaccine is a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine”). LAIV is approved for use in healthy people five years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
October or November is the best time to get vaccinated, but you can still get vaccinated in December and later. Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as springtime.
- Provisional Disease Report – July 30, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – July 23, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – July 16, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – July 9, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – July 2, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – June 25, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – June 18, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – June 11, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – June 4, 2022
- Provisional Disease Report – May 28, 2022
Pandemic Influenza – Illness caused by flu A and B viruses that infect the human respiratory tract. Annual flu epidemics occur among people worldwide. However, a flu pandemic is a global outbreak of a new flu A virus in people that is very different from current and recently circulated seasonal flu A viruses.
For further information regarding pandemic influenza, please visit the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website here.
Check the News section for rabies vaccination clinics dates/times in your area.
The Mobile County Rabies Control Program is responsible for managing the animal bite investigation and quarantine program for Mobile County. The City and County Animal Control Offices are responsible for stray animal complaints.
For a copy of the Animal Bite Report, please click this link: Animal Bite Report
Please contact the following for more information regarding stray animals:
- City Animal Control: 251.208.2800
- County Animal Control: 251.574.3230
Visit Website: https://www.mobilecountyal.gov/animal-control
For further information regarding rabies, please visit the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website here.
Public Health Laws of Alabama
Title 3, Chapter 7A requires that dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against the rabies virus, every year, by a licensed veterinarian. In the event that a human is bitten or scratched by a dog or cat, vaccinated or not, the offending animal must be quarantined during an observation period of 10 days. This ensures that the animal has not contracted the virus and exposed the human.
Animal Bite Reports
All animal bites involving physician care or law enforcement investigation are reported to the Mobile County Health Department. Victims or offending animal owners may also report animal bites and scratches. Once a report is generated, the Health Department is responsible for investigating the situation.
Wild/Exotic Animal Bites
If a human is exposed to a wild or exotic animal bite, the quarantine process may not be sufficient to determine the exposure to rabies. In these situations, the offending animal may be resistant to the rabies virus or harbor the virus longer than the designated quarantine time for domestic dogs and cats. Generally, animals have to be sacrificed for laboratory testing since the virus can only be detected within the brain stem. If the animal is not sacrificed, the Health Department recommends that these victims consult their physician regarding post-bite rabies treatment.
Quick Tips and Facts About Rabies
- Be cautious with stray or wild animals!
- Avoid direct contact — even if the animal is dead.
- Don’t keep food, including pet food, outside… it attracts wild animals.
- Do not feed wild animals.
- Beware of ALL wild animals (friendly, sick or abnormal) — animals may have the rabies virus even if they don’t show visible signs.
Physical Signs of Animals with Rabies
- Changes in behavior — animals become easily confused with minor illnesses.
- Animals may stop eating or drinking.
- Minor nervous disorders will progress to severe paralysis or furious form with excessive salivation — known as “Mad Dog” syndrome.
- Animals will die within 10 days of showing symptoms.
Physical Signs of Humans with Rabies
- Humans may exhibit the same signs as animals with rabies.
- Once symptomatic, humans cannot be treated.
Safety Tips Against the Spread of Rabies
- Vaccinate pets annually.
- Be cautious of your pet if it has been in contact with a wild animal.
- Consider unprovoked attacks a high risk.
- Seek medical attention immediately if bitten or scratched by any animal.
- Take animals to a veterinarian for quarantine if it has been involved in a bite.
- Avoid bare hand contact when removing dead or injured animals.
- Appointments: Call 251.690.8889 to schedule.
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until noon.
Note: All patients will have a health exam by the provider prior to receiving dispensing medication.
All patients are treated with the utmost respect while maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all medical and epidemiological related information. It is the goal of the DIS personnel to work with the patient and local providers to provide the best possible medical and epidemiological services possible, to enhance the health of our community
Cost: Insurance co-pay amount or sliding scale fee based on patient’s household income and family size.
Family Health professionals provide STD testing and treatment that is complemented by a wellness assessment of height, weight, blood pressure and any additional medical concerns.
Report a case: follow this link
The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) has received its initial allocation of vaccine for the Monkeypox virus. To help prevent illness from the virus, MCHD will offer vaccine and monitor for early signs of illness in eligible persons.
Family Health is the primary care division of MCHD. Clients who take part in Family Health’s Ryan White Program should make an appointment to receive the Jynneos vaccine by calling 251-690-8889.
Other individuals interested in receiving the vaccine may register through MCHD’s Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Control at this link — https://redcap.link/MPXmchd. If the client meets the Alabama Department of Public Health’s expanded criteria for the vaccine, MCHD staff will contact the client by phone or email to provide information on the availability of the vaccine and instructions on getting vaccinated.
Clients may also sign up for the vaccine through MCHD’s smartphone app under “More” and then “Sign Up for Monkeypox Vaccination.” The app is available for download for free in the App Store and Google Play. Search “My MCHD Health Check” or visit the following link to download the app — https://apps.myocv.com/share/a65536603.
Because of the limited supply of vaccine at this time, post-exposure prophylaxis will only be made available to those who are known to have been exposed within the previous 14 days to a person with Monkeypox, or to a person attending an event at a venue where Monkeypox virus was known to have been transmitted.
ADPH reports cases of Monkeypox to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the case count is available on the CDC webpage. As part of the investigative process, MCHD interviews the person with Monkeypox, monitors contacts, and provides information regarding vaccine or treatment, as indicated.
For more information about Monkeypox, call MCHD’s Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Control at 251-690-8175.