NEW! Travel related Zika infection identified in Fayette County: Mother and baby pose no current risk for spread of the virus
The first instance of laboratory-confirmed infection with Zika virus in Lexington was recently identified in a Fayette County infant born to a woman who had travelled during pregnancy to an area where the virus is circulating. Test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the infant was exposed to the virus in the womb. Although the infant’s mother never described symptoms of illness, antibodies against Zika found in her infant suggest maternal infection during an early stage of the pregnancy. Neither mother nor child is presently capable of spreading the virus to others or to mosquitoes in the area.
“The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department strongly advises pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant in the near future to consider cancelling or delaying travel to Zika-affected areas of the world,” said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, Commissioner of Health. However, “anyone planning to travel to countries where the Zika virus is circulating among mosquitoes should take steps to protect themselves. This includes being knowledgeable about where the virus is spreading, consulting with a healthcare provider, and most importantly, following public health’s recommendations to avoid mosquito bites.”
Over 1,400 cases of Zika virus have been reported in U.S. states and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC. Prior to this infant, 9 cases of Zika had been reported from Kentucky. All cases reported as of this date in the U.S. have been associated with travel to a Zika-affected area. Zika is not known to be circulating in the mosquito population in Kentucky.
Facts and information specifically related to Zika virus can be found online at www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.
Read the full press release here. Find out more about our mosquito control program here.
NEW! Board selects Dr. Kraig Humbaugh as new Commissioner of Health
We are excited to announce the hiring of Lexington’s next Commissioner of Health: Dr. Kraig Humbaugh!
“I am honored to serve and look forward to working with the Board of Health, the hard-working team at the health department and the community to make Lexington a healthier place to live, work and visit,” Dr. Humbaugh said. “It’s important that we build on Dr. (Rice) Leach’s legacy and the already strong foundation that the health department has in the community.”
Read the full press release here.
NEW! Now offering family planning
Our Public Health Clinic provides family planning services. Services are confidential and are available for uninsured and underinsured. Same day appointments and limited walk-in availability! Clinic hours are Monday, Wednesday & Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information call 859-288-2483 option 2.
Presumptive eligibility is a process that offers prenatal care services to pregnant women while their Medicaid applications are pending. The goal is to offer health care to women early in their pregnancies so they stay healthy and have healthy babies.
Family planning offers confidential services to men and women, providing services including birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, Pap testing, pelvic exams and education and counseling.
NEW! Needle Exchange program begins September 4
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s needle-exchange program will be held 1:30-4 p.m. Fridays at 650 Newtown Pike starting Sept. 4. The free, anonymous and confidential program is designed to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis in Lexington. Used needles must be brought in to receive clean needles. Click here to find out more about the program.
In addition to free needles, the program will offer testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, educational materials and a safe disposal of dirty needles. Referrals and counseling can be made available for those who test positive for HIV or who are seeking drug treatment or other health and social services.
The Bluegrass Region, which covers 17 counties including Fayette County, has seen HIV numbers grow from 75 cases in 2011 to 107 in 2013, the most recent year numbers are available. Additionally, Kentucky has the nation’s highest per capita rate for hepatitis C.
Lexington’s needle-exchange program is possible because the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly enacted legislation allowing health departments to operate exchange programs. Lexington’s needle-exchange has been approved by the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council.
Do you want to find out how our needle-exchange program will work? Watch this short video that walks you through the basics for what to expect when visiting our needle-exchange program.
NEW! Proper hand-washing can help fight rising spread of gastrointestinal illness
An increase in gastrointestinal illnesses has the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department encouraging parents, schools, daycare centers, food service workers and healthcare providers to take precautionary actions to prevent its spread. Shigellosis is a highly contagious form of diarrhea caused by Shigella bacteria and is spread through person-to-person contact. Symptoms last 48-72 hours and include severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. To prevent Shigellosis, the health department offers the following tips:
- Wash hands with soap carefully and frequently, especially after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers and before preparing food or beverages.
- Do not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea.
- Sick children and adults should stay home until cleared by a doctor to return to school or work.
- Keep children with diarrhea out of childcare settings and common play areas.
- Supervise hand-washing of toddlers and small children after they use the toilet.
- Dispose of soiled diapers properly.
- Disinfect diaper-changing areas after using them.
- Avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes or untreated pools.