Archive for the ‘Health Alerts’ category

Extreme Heat Precautions

July 20th, 2011


July 20, 2011, Inez, KY — The Martin County Health Department is urging the public to take the following precautions to avoid injury and illness during this period of extreme heat:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Increase your daily fluid intake regardless of your activity level. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. This is especially true for people age 65 or older who often have a decreased ability to respond to external temperature changes. In addition, avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear proper clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing. In the hot sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep the head cool. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
  • Stay cool indoors. The best way to stay cool is in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have an air conditioner, consider visiting a mall or public library. Check with local authorities for local cooling stations that may be available in your area.
  • Don’t leave children or pets inside a vehicle. Lock all unattended vehicles so children can’t enter them. Immediately dial 911 if you see an unattended child in a car.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. If you must be out in the heat, plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening. Rest periodically so your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
  • Use a buddy system. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
  • Monitor those at high risk. Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age or older, those who are ill or on certain medications for blood pressure or diuretics, overweight individuals and those who overexert during work or exercise.

Signs of heat-related illnesses include a very high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; muscle cramps; tiredness and unconsciousness. If someone starts to experience these symptoms, seek medical help immediately and move them to a shady spot. If outdoors, begin cooling them using whatever methods are available. Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.

Reduce Standing Water After Spring Rains to Help Avoid Mosquito Bites

May 12th, 2011

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 11, 2011) –The recent rains and flooding in many areas of the state may lead to an increased numbers of mosquitoes, common insects that breed in and around areas of standing water. Kentuckians should take steps to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds to avoid mosquito bites, which can cause illnesses such as West Nile Virus (WNV).

“We tend to think of mosquitoes as a nuisance in the summer, but they can be a serious health threat and are known to carry disease,” said Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “Some mosquitoes carry diseases, which can be extremely debilitating and even deadly in some cases. Young children and the elderly are at higher risk for serious illness.”

DPH urges residents to maintain prevention efforts not only during times of flooding, but also throughout the summer until a hard freeze occurs:

— Survey property for areas of standing water, and eliminate mosquito breeding areas by removing it as it accumulates. Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the containers for more than two days.

— Be aware that mosquitoes are most active at dawn, dusk and early evening, and stay inside if possible.

— Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors.

— Spray exposed areas of skin and clothing with repellents containing permethrin, DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picardin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. (For more information on insect repellants visit

— Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.

— Report swimming pools that are neglected and in a state of disrepair.

Dogs and cats also are susceptible to diseases, such as WNV and other illnesses spread by mosquitoes, so pet owners should use a veterinarian-recommended mosquito and tick repellent. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.  

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) sprays for mosquitoes at the request of local governments and health departments. A KDA county spraying schedule and more information about the program are on the Department’s website

Community Center is now Tobacco-Free

March 17th, 2011

Another Martin County organization has gone tobacco free.  Beginning March 1, the Roy F. Collier Community Center prohibits smoking and all tobacco products on their entire premises (both inside the building and outside).  You can see their announcement on their Facebook page.

The Martin County Health Department and Martin Countians for Clean Indoor Air commend the Community Center in taking this important step in protecting the health of visitors to the center.

Wash your hands!!

March 17th, 2011

Wash your hands!!

March 10th, 2011

It is not too late to get your flu shot!!

February 17th, 2011

The Martin County Health Department still has flu vaccine.  Come in today to receive your vaccincation.  We are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.  If you have any questions, you may call us at 606-298-7752

Beware of the Dangers from Alternative Heating Sources during Power Outages

January 26th, 2011

Beware of the Dangers from Alternative Heating Sources during Power Outages

The Martin County Health Department is warning residents of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) associated with alternate power sources in the event of power outages.  Alternative power sources such as generators and kerosene heaters are commonly used during electrical power outages. Improper usage of these devices can cause carbon monoxide to build up in homes or garages, resulting in sudden illness and death.

Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detector s inside your home and replace batteries as required. Seek medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Early symptoms include headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Individuals who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol may die from carbon monoxide poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.

Safety Steps to Take When Using Portable Generators

  • Properly follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully for your specific generator model.
  • Never operate a generator inside a home, garage or partially enclosed space, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Operate a generator at least 25 feet from your home, far away from windows, doors and vents.
  • Secure the generator with a steel link chain and lock to prevent theft.
  • Make sure your generator is properly grounded. Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocution and electrical shock injuries. Do not overload the generator.
  • Use a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord that is free of cuts or tears and has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in your home according to the manufacturer’s instructions and replace the batteries on a regular basis. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and dial 911.

Tips on Proper Kerosene Heater Use

  • Properly follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully for your specific heater model.
  • Be sure that wick is set at proper level as instructed by manufacturer and is clean.
  • Operate a kerosene heater in a well-vented area. Leave a door open to rest of the house or keep an outside window open to ensure adequate flow of fresh air.
  • Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in your home according to the manufacturer’s instructions and replace the batteries on a regular basis. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and dial 911.
  • Use only 1-K grade kerosene fuel. Colored or cloudy kerosene will give out an odor and smoke when burned and will also gum up the wick.
  • Store kerosene in container intended for kerosene only. Don’t store in a gasoline can or container that contained gasoline. This will avoid using contaminated fuel or the wrong fuel by mistake. Kerosene containers are usually blue and gasoline containers are red.
  • Never refuel heaters inside the home. Fill the tank outdoors, away from combustible materials and after the heater is turned off and allowed to cool. Do not fill the fuel tank above the “full” mark. This area allows the fuel to expand without causing leakage when the heater is operated.
  • Never attempt to move a lighted kerosene heater. Even a carrying handle could cause burns.
  • To avoid risk of fire, place the kerosene heater several feet away from all furniture, curtains, paper, clothes, bedding and other combustible materials.
  • Infants, small children and pets should be kept away from heaters to avoid serious burns.


Family History of Diabetes Increases Risk for Developing the Disease

November 18th, 2010

Family History of Diabetes Increases Risk for Developing the Disease Take Steps Now to Prevent Diabetes in the Future

Knowing about your family’s health history goes a long way toward preventing or delaying the development of serious diseases like diabetes. Many people who develop type-2 diabetes have one or more family members with the disease, so it’s important to know your family’s diabetes health history, and to share that information with your doctor. The good news is that people with a family history of diabetes can take steps now to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. The Martin County Health Department has partnered with the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to share this message during National Diabetes Awareness Month this November.

“You can’t change your family history, but knowing about it can help you work with your health care team to take action on the things you can change  We encourage everyone to talk with their family members to find out if any close relatives, such as a mother, father, brother or sister, have had diabetes. If any of the women in your family had gestational diabetes while pregnant, she is also at increased risk for diabetes in the future, and so is her child from that pregnancy. This is all important information to share with your doctor.”

The good news is that you can prevent or delay type-2 diabetes by losing a small amount of weight – 5 to 7 percent (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) – and becoming more active. Action steps, which will benefit the entire family, include making healthy food choices and being active at least 30 minutes, five days per week. To help achieve health goals, write down everything you eat and drink, and the number of minutes you are active each day. Review these notes daily.

Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes – including approximately 1,500 Martin Countians. It is estimated that one-third of the people with diabetes don’t know that they have the disease, and people with undiagnosed diabetes may experience damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys, and limbs – without producing any symptoms. It is estimated that another 57 million adults in the U.S. have pre-diabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

To learn more about family health history and preventing type-2 diabetes, check out NDEP’s risk tests by visiting or call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337); TTY: 1-866-569-1162. Ask for Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, a tip sheet called It’s Never Too Early to Prevent Diabetes, and a tip sheet for children at risk called Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

You may also contact the Martin County Health Department Diabetes Control Program at 606-298-7752 or visit

UV Safety Month

July 22nd, 2010

Q. What is the main cause of skin cancer?
A. Being exposed to UV radiation from the sun. Learn more:

UV Safety Month