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Health & Environment

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health and environment

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Vision: The Innovative Leader for Community Health and Environmental Protection.
Mission: To Protect the Health and Environment, Prevent Disease and Promote Wellness for All who Live, Work and Play in Johnson County through Exceptional Public Service.

Department News

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Yellow Fever vaccine temporarily out of stock at immunization clinics
September 29, 2017

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is temporarily out of Yellow Fever vaccine and does not expect to receive a new supply from the manufacturer until mid-2018. More information about the vaccine shortage can be found here.

Travelers and health care providers can find locations with remaining doses of Yellow Fever vaccine and its alternative, Stamaril, by visiting the yellow fever vaccination clinic search page. 

For information about which countries require yellow fever vaccination for entry and which countries the CDC recommends yellow fever vaccination, visit the CDC Travelers’ Health website (www.cdc.gov/travel).

Flu shots now available for the 2017-18 influenza season
October 3, 2017

Flu shots are now available for adults and children over the age of 6 months at our walk-in health clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Dr.) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.). The cost is $30 for a seasonal flu shot and $50 for the high dose flu shot for those age 65 and older. The nasal spray vaccine will not be offered during the 2017-18 flu season.

We accept private insurance from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Cigna, Coventry, UnitedHealthcare and Medicare Part B. We do not take insurance from Coventry Advantra or Humana Gold Plus. We are a KanCare provider for all managed care organizations such as Amerigroup, Sunflower and United Community. Cash, check or credit card payment is also accepted for those without insurance or who carry other insurance plans. Click here for immunization clinic hours and locations. If you have additional questions, call 913-826-1261.

Save time in line! Complete this form before you arrive. Check-in online using the QLess mobile app or click on the "Get in Line Now" button on our website.

Take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and reduce risk of West Nile Virus
September 1, 2017

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus (WNV) are showing up in surveillance reports across Kansas, including Johnson County. All four traps collected on Aug. 11 in Johnson County contained mosquitoes positive with the virus.

West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV (8 out of 10) do not have symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. More prevention tips: https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/prevention/index.html

Tips to stay safe, manage debris after a flood
July 28, 2017

The past week’s heavy rain and floods have wreaked havoc on many Johnson County homes and businesses. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) offers the following tips to prevent injury and illness during cleanup and how to manage and remove the debris and trash left behind.

  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of an affected area.
  • Get a tetanus shot (Td or Tdap) if you haven’t had one in the last 10 years or can’t remember the last time you got one. You can get one at most doctors’ offices, pharmacies, urgent care clinics and at the Department of Health and Environment’s two walk-in clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Drive) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.).
  • Flood waters can displace animals, insects and reptiles. Be alert and avoid contact.
  • Wash clothing and all hard surfaces with hot water and detergent. Discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting and carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, pillows, baby toys, stuffed animals, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings and most paper products).
  • Excessive moisture and standing water can contribute to the growth of mold. Be sure to properly dry out ceilings, walls and floors.
  • Cover open wounds with a waterproof bandage to avoid infection. Keep open wounds as clean as possible by washing with soap and water. Seek immediate medical attention if a wound develops redness, swelling or drainage.

James Joerke, JCDHE deputy director, advises residents and business owners to contact their local city or trash company to find out how much trash and debris can be placed at the curb and if any large item collections are being planned.

“Always ask about fees for these type of additional pick-ups,” says Joerke. “If you have a large quantity of trash, you may need to rent a dumpster and pay to have it hauled to a landfill.”  

Items that are not accepted at the curb, such as paint, cleaners, household chemicals and fluorescent light bulbs, may be brought to the Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste site for disposal. Make an appointment to drop off for these items, as well as non-working appliances and electronics: https://jocogov.org/dept/health-and-environment/environment/hazardous-materials/accepted-items

Safety after a Flood: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.html

Mold after a Disaster: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold and https://www.epa.gov/mold/floods-and-mold-growth

 

Kansans urged to take precautions to prevent spread of mumps
June 8, 2017

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has confirmed 31 cases of mumps in adults living in Johnson County, Kan. Given the number of reported cases in Kansas and in nearby states, it is important that Kansans are up-to-date on their MMR vaccination (measles-mumps-rubella). Getting the vaccine will reduce the chance of getting the disease or reduce the severity of the illness.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It’s best known for puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw from swollen salivary glands. An infected person can spread the virus by:

  • Coughing, sneezing, or talking,
  • Sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and
  • Touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others.

Symptoms usually last 7 to 10 days. Some people who get mumps do not have symptoms. Others may feel sick, but will not have swollen glands. If you or someone in your family has mumps symptoms, stay home and away from others and contact your healthcare provider.

KDHE recommends that a buccal swab specimen, a blood specimen and a respiratory viral panel (NP swab) be collected from all patients with clinical features compatible with mumps. Healthcare providers who suspect mumps in a patient or have received laboratory confirmation that a patient has mumps should call JCDHE’s disease investigation team at 913-826-1303 within 4 hours. Fax completed disease reports to 913-826-1300. After business hours and weekends, call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 1-877-427-7317. A quick reference guide for providers is now available. 

The best way to prevent mumps is to get the MMR vaccine. We offer the MMR vaccine at our walk-in clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Dr.) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.). No appointment is needed.

Public Health Advisory Lifted for Water in Brush Creek
May 17, 2017

In collaboration with Johnson County Wastewater, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has lifted a health advisory for residents living in the area between 55th and Mission and 75th and Mission. The advisory was issued Saturday, May 13 due to a sanitary sewer overflow into Brush Creek in the areas of Prairie Village and Mission Hills.

Johnson County Wastewater crews investigated the source and determined a private contractor unknowingly drilled into a sewer line in the area near Tomahawk Road and Mission Road.  The damaged line has been repaired. The Wastewater Department flushed the creek in the area and tested the water.  Bacteria levels have returned to normal allowing the advisory to be lifted today.

If you have questions about the advisory being lifted, please call 913-477-8436.

Practice good hygiene, get a flu shot to prevent illness
January 20, 2017

Coughing. Fever. Runny nose. Upset stomach. Diarrhea. You probably know someone with these symptoms right now. This is the time of year when reports of influenza, norovirus and other viral and foodborne illnesses begin to pour into the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. The best way to prevent these germs from making their way to you is frequent handwashing. Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper and always before eating, preparing or handling food. Alcohol-based sanitizers should be used if soap and water are not available.

If you haven’t gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. Influenza typically peaks in late January through February. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment offers flu shots at its Olathe and Mission walk-in health clinics. No appointment is needed. Flu vaccines are also available in many locations, including doctor's offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and college health centers.

If you are the one who is sick, limit your contact with others as much as possible. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw tissues in the trash after you use them. Stay home from work or school until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

If you have a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus, ask your doctor about antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia.

If you’re infected with a gastrointestinal illness, wait at least 48 hours after symptoms stop before returning to work or school. Clean and disinfect all surfaces and laundry that have been contaminated with vomit or stool.

Following these simple steps will help prevent the spread of these highly contagious germs around our community and keep you healthy this winter.

Outside labs should ship specimens to KHEL
December 16, 2016

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will no longer accept outside laboratory specimens and packages for shipment to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s laboratory. Outside laboratories and providers should ship specimens and packages directly to the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories (KHEL) via courier or delivery service. Packaging and shipping instructions can be found here.

Specimens and packages requested by JCDHE will continue to be shipped to KHEL by JCDHE. 

Zika Virus
August 7, 2017

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is alerting the public of the potential to contract Zika virus while traveling abroad and in Brownsville, Texas. Although sexual transmission of Zika virus infection is possible, mosquito bites remain the primary way that Zika virus is transmitted. Because there currently is no vaccine or treatment for Zika virus, the best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites. While illness is usually mild, and severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon, Zika virus infection in pregnant women can cause severe birth defects of the brain, including microcephalyPregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika virus.

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes) lasting from several days to a week. If you are experiencing Zika virus symptoms and have traveled to/lived in an area with Zika within the past 2 weeks, contact your healthcare provider immediately so you can be tested for Zika virus. Tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.

Kansas physicians and laboratories should be aware of the diagnostic testing guidance for Zika virus. Additional guidance for healthcare providers is available here. Call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 1-877-427-7317 to report persons with suspected Zika virus infection or to request Zika virus testing for those who meet the criteria for testing

Zika Virus in Pregnancy

Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly (meaning small head and brain) and other severe brain defects in babies of mothers who are infected with Zika virus while pregnant. This means that a woman who is infected with Zika during pregnancy has an increased risk of having a baby with these health problems. Therefore, pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika virus.

Men and women with a pregnant sex partner who have traveled to or lived in an area of active Zika virus transmission should consistently and correctly use condoms and other barriers during sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) or abstain from sexual activity for the duration of the pregnancy to avoid giving the virus to the mother and baby.

If you are pregnant and had exposure to Zika virus in the last 2-12 weeks either from travel to a place with ongoing Zika virus transmission or unprotected sex with someone who has traveled to or lived in a place with ongoing Zika virus transmission, contact your healthcare provider immediately to discuss the need for testing for Zika virus. Tell your healthcare provider how often, when and where you and/or your sex partner traveled/lived.

Prevention

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Until more is known, CDC is recommending when traveling to places where Zika virus has been reported, travelers should take steps to prevent mosquito bites. All travelers, including pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding, can and should use an EPA-registered insect repellent and use it according to the product label.

Some travelers to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms. Travelers should use insect repellent for three weeks after travel to prevent mosquito bites and stop the spread of Zika.

Zika virus can be spread sexually. Men and women with a pregnant sex partner who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission should consistently and correctly use condoms and other barriers during sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) or abstain from sexual activity for the duration of the pregnancy to avoid giving the virus to the mother and baby. Men and women with nonpregnant sex partners may want to consider the following recommendations from the CDC. Women and their partners who are thinking about pregnancy, should talk to their healthcare providers about their travel plans, the risk of Zika virus infection and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.

Local residents can protect themselves from Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases (West Nile, Chikungunya, Dengue) by wearing an EPA-registered insect repellent, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when working or playing outdoors. Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use air conditioning, if you have it. Empty standing water from flower pots, buckets, gutters/downspouts, small pools and pool covers, pet dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths on a regular basis to reduce the number of mosquitoes around the home. Tightly cover water storage containers so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.

2017 Environmental Sanitary Code Fee Increases
December 21, 2016

Under the 2004 Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code , the Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) is responsible for regulating private sewage treatment systems, swimming pools and spas in the unincorporated area and within the ten municipalities that have adopted the Code.

The Code establishes the authority to assess various user fees to cover program administration and enforcement costs and to increase fees over time as needed.  View the 2017 Fee increase.

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Upcoming Events

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October 25, 2017 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

November 1, 2017 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

November 8, 2017 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

November 8, 2017 | 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Solid Waste Management Committee Meeting

November 10, 2017 | 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

JCDHE Closed for Veterans Day (Nov. 10, 2017)