MCHD works with pharmacies to share warning of drug abuse

April 16, 2021

MCHD works with pharmacies to share warning of drug abuse

MOBILE, Alabama — In an effort to inform the public about the dangers of opioid abuse, the Mobile County Health Department’s (MCHD) Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program is beginning an initiative to spread the message with a unique partnership with pharmacies. OD2A is providing the bags in which pharmacies place medications for their customers. In bold letters is “Opioids. Serious Addiction Can Start With A Simple Prescription.” Next are bullet points containing “misuse and abuse” information, as well as “actions you can take” regarding opioids. A telephone number to the OD2A program is included at the end.

“We wanted a campaign to get out the message of our overdose prevention program at MCHD,” said Veronica Mercadel, the program administrator. “The program is not just about opioids. It is about all substance abuse and overdose.”

Along with Mercadel, her team of John Richardson, Deirdre Johnson, Ashley Nicholson, and LaShundra McMillian worked with Pebbles King, the Bureau of Community and Nutrition Services director, and MCHD graphics specialist James Currie to complete the project.

“It is an impactful way to get the message out about prescription opioid abuse by putting our message on a pharmacy bag,” Currie said. “We have included misuse and abuse information and a call to action for the patient to help us stop the abuse of prescription medications. I have used this direct marketing approach many times in my career, and I know how impactful this component can be for a campaign.”

Signed up to give out the bags include locally owned medical drug dispensaries (Springhill Pharmacy, Medicap Mobile and Spanish Fort, Dawes Point Pharmacy, Royal Pharmacy, Rx Express Pharmacy, Deuel Drugs, Three Notch Pharmacy, Midtown Pharmacy, Saraland Pharmacy, Compound Pharmaceutical Technologies, Semmes Pharmacy, Saraland Pharmacy, McConaghy Drug Store), as well as Sam’s Club at 601 East I-65 Service Road in Mobile.

OD2A is funded by a grant through the Alabama Department of Public Health along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also partner with Project Thrive (Trauma Healing and Resiliency In the Wake of Violent Events), a program run by the Mobile Police Department’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.

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. For more information on OD2A and the pharmacy bag project, call 251-554-2134.

Dauphin Island reports Sanitary Sewer Overflows

April 16, 2021

Dauphin Island reports Sanitary Sewer Overflows

MOBILE, Ala. — Dauphin Island Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Authority responded to several Sanitary Sewer Overflows on April 15. The cause was heavy rains that hit the area.

Location Estimated Gallons Receiving Water 
Hubert St. @ Cadillac Ave.248Dauphin Island Bay
1200 to 1300 blocks of Bienville Blvd.1,780Graveline Bay
702 Bienville Blvd.4,620Ground absorbed

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, 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 these overflows. 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 Dauphin Island Bay and Graveline Bay for recreational purposes because of these overflows. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

Bayou La Batre reports Sanitary Sewer Overflows

April 16, 2021

Bayou La Batre reports Sanitary Sewer Overflows

MOBILE, Ala. — The Utilities Board of the City of Bayou La Batre has reported two Sanitary Sewer Overflows that occurred on April 15. These were caused by heavy rains in the area. One SSO took place at Tapia Avenue, while the other was at the intersection of Alba Street and 5 th Avenue. The estimated overflows for both events were more than 1,000 gallons and less than 10,000 gallons. These overflows reached storm drains that empty into Bayou La Batre.

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, 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 Bayou La Batre for recreational purposes because of the overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

Swim advisory lifted for Dog River and Fowl River

April 15, 2021

Swim advisory lifted for Dog River and Fowl River

MOBILE, Alabama — A swimming advisory issued by the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) for Dog River near the Alba Fishing & Hunting Club and Fowl River near Highway 193 has been lifted. Recent water samples at these locations indicate bacteria values are back below the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) threshold of 104 enterococcus organisms per 100 milliliters for marine water.

The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management operate the bacteriological water quality monitoring and notification program under a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s BEACH (Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health) Act Program. This program involves the routine collection of water samples from a total of 25 coastal recreational sites in Mobile and Baldwin counties (to see the testing locations please visit http://adem.alabama.gov/programs/coastal/BeachMonitoring.cnt).

In the summer months, samples are taken once or twice a week at the most highly used sites and biweekly at the other sites. All sites are tested once a month in the cooler months.

Samples are analyzed for enterococci bacteria. High counts indicate that the possibility that other disease-causing germs could be present in the water. Based on EPA’s “Criteria for Bathing (full body contact) Recreational Waters,” samples are checked for enterococcus bacteria. These indicator bacteria are inhabitants of the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals.

Bacterial concentrations in recreational waters can increase during and immediately following rainstorms because of overflowing sewage collection and treatment facilities, storm water runoff and malfunctioning septic systems.

When monitoring results exceed the EPA standard, the affected site is immediately retested. If the results of the second test identify enterococci levels persisting above the EPA standard, the health department through the cooperative efforts of the news media will issue a public advisory.

Prichard reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow

April 12, 2021

Prichard reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow

MOBILE, Ala. — Prichard Water Works & Sewer experienced a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) that lasted from 8:31 a.m. on April 10 through 5 p.m. on April 11. This occurred because of the outfall line of the waste-water treatment plant.

The overflow was at the intersection of Chinn Street and Butts Street. It was in the range of more than 50,000 gallons and less than 75,000 gallons. Prichard officials say there was not any raw sewage lost. The entire volume was non-potable water that flowed into a storm drain that empties into Three Mile Creek.

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, 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 Three Mile Creek for recreational purposes because of this overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by lift station failure

April 12, 2021

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by lift station failure

MOBILE, Alabama — Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) responded to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow at 4116 Perch Point Drive on April 11. Approximately 120 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Dog River because of a lift station failure. MAWSS crews have restored the power and made the necessary repairs at this location.

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, 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 Dog River for recreational purposes because of this overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

Sentinel chicken program receives its newest recruits

April 9, 2021

Sentinel chicken program receives its newest recruits

MOBILE, Alabama — For more than 25 years, the Mobile County Health Department’s Vector Control has monitored sentinel chickens placed throughout the county to help detect the presence of viruses carried by mosquitoes.

The process began again this week as MCHD received 100 newly hatched chicks. A special facility houses the flock at Vector Services (a vector is any insect, rodent, or animal capable of harboring or transmitting diseases to humans) in Downtown Mobile. Each day the staff will feed the baby chicks, put in fresh water, and clean the cage that is heated by lamps. This process will continue until the chicks can be moved into the larger hen house located on the grounds at Vector Services.

“The arrival of spring brings the promise of showers, flowers, and mosquitoes,” said Dr. Rendi Murphree, an Epidemiologist who oversees the Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Environmental Services. “This week the Mobile County Health Department’s Vector Services division welcomed a flock of chicks that will serve as sentinels for surveillance of mosquito-borne infections once mature.”

It takes several months for the chicks to mature enough to be placed in the field. Vector Services staff said it would likely be May or June before these chickens are put into service.

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 — roosters are not included in the study — 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, usually on Mondays. MCHD processes the blood samples and sends them to a lab in Tampa, Florida. Tests results are available later that week. The tests can reveal the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis.

With the use of 13 coops, only 52 hens are used at one time. The rest are kept in reserve. If one tests positive for a disease, it is removed from the field. If two birds from the coop test positive, all four birds are replaced.

MCHD began a project with the University of South Alabama in 2018 to test adult mosquito samples. This expanded disease detection to include Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya using high-throughput molecular methods.

The program continues into the fall, usually ending in November. At that point, the hens are given away to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. A new group of 100 chicks will start the program the following spring, as it did this week

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by debris blockage

April 2, 2021

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by debris blockage

MOBILE, Alabama — Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) responded to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow on April 1 at 3262 Dauphin Street (Rear on Northgate). Approximately 33 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Eslava Creek as result of a debris blockage. MAWSS crews have cleared the blockage and are taking steps to prevent future overflows at this location.

Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, 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 the overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

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