Welcome to the Siouxland District Health Department (SDHD) Website. Use the A-Z Index to easily search our site or find out more about our programs and services by clicking on that tab.
SDHD's mission statement: "leading a collaborative effort to build a healthier community through improved access to health services, education and disease prevention."
Vision statement: “A healthy community for all”.
EBOLA FACTS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS BEING DONE IN WOODBURY COUNTY IN RESPONSE TO THE THREAT OF EBOLA?
A LOT. Individuals from many organizations including emergency management, public safety, hospitals, doctors offices, and public health have been very busy planning for the possibility that someone with Ebola could be discovered in our community. In fact, a meeting involving many potentially impacted organizations took place at Siouxland District Health Department on October 21. The point of the collaborative meetings is to share ideas and the latest information, ask important questions, access resources, and align plans to be as consistent as possible in the community.
The focus of the planning involves early recognition of a potentially infected individual, limiting the number of people to have contact with that individual once he/she is identified, getting a proper diagnosis, and protecting those healthcare workers that must come in contact with an infected person.
Activities include screening procedures (primarily asking questions about symptoms and travel history) to identify someone that may be infected and planning for the isolation of a patient in healthcare facilities and in emergency situations. Developing procedures for the proper collection and transportation of laboratory specimens, determining what personal protective equipment is needed for the safety of healthcare workers and actually obtaining those materials are also among the highest priorities right now.
Planning for Ebola is not simple and many factors need to be considered. But much planning, collaboration, and cooperation is currently happening in Woodbury County in an effort to keep our community as safe from this disease as possible.
HOW LONG DOES THE VIRUS LIVE OUTSIDE THE BODY?
Ebola on dried surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours. But viruses in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature. In general, warmer and drier conditions kill Ebola faster than cool and wet. Hospital grade disinfectants, as well as household bleach, kill Ebola.
HOW DOES SOMEONE BECOME INFECTED WITH EBOLA?
Ebola is spread through direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is already infected. The common body fluids that a person could be exposed to include urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen. You cannot get Ebola unless you have had direct contact with the body fluids of a symptomatic person.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA?
Symptoms include fever (greater than 101.5˚F), severe headaches, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Symptoms may appear between 2 and 21 days after exposure, but the average is 8-10 days.
It’s important to note that these symptoms are non-specific and are common symptoms of other illnesses. Combining these symptoms with travel to certain countries in West Africa and/or contact with a person known to have Ebola is important in getting a proper diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE COUNTRIES OF CONCERN IN AFRICA?
Ebola is currently spreading in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia in the far western edge of Africa. There has been Ebola activity in Nigeria and Senegal as well, but the virus is not currently spreading in these countries. There is also a smaller outbreak in Congo right now, but it is unrelated to the large outbreak in West Africa.
IS THERE CONCERN ABOUT TRAVELING TO TEXAS SINCE THEY HAVE HAD CASES NOW?
No. There is virtually no risk to someone traveling to Dallas or other areas nearby. Infections in the general population are not occurring at this time. The first infected person in the US came from Liberia and the other two cases were health care workers that helped treat him when he was very sick. There is little reason at this time to think that the general public is at risk in Dallas or anywhere else.
It is important to have an appropriate level of concern about Ebola. It is a very serious illness and it’s very serious that this disease has spread in parts of the world and infected Americans here in the US. And while it’s impossible for any of us to have zero risk, the overwhelming majority of us does not and will not have the types of exposures necessary to become infected with Ebola.
Woodbury County/Siouxland District Health Department Awarded $120,458 to Drive Down Chronic Diseases in Woodbury County, Iowa
New program will help create healthier communities in the U.S.
Today Woodbury County/Siouxland District Health Department (SDHD) was awarded a grant of $120,458 to increase the number of people with access to healthy food and beverage options, and physical activity opportunities in Woodbury County, Iowa.
The Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) awards are part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will administer the grants, which will run for 3 years, subject to availability of funds.
Overall, HHS awarded $50.3 million in new grant awards to 39 local health agencies. PICH is the newest generation in CDC’s long history of community efforts to create and strengthen healthy environments that make it easier for people to make healthy choices and take charge of their health.
Governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations will work through multi-sector community coalitions to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and improve access to programs for preventing and managing chronic diseases. Projects will serve large cities and urban counties, small cities and counties, and American Indian tribes.
“We are very excited to have this opportunity to work with residents throughout Woodbury County on improving their health and wellbeing, through a variety of different health initiatives,” said Michelle Lewis, SDHD Health Planner and PICH Project Director.
Specifically, the work that SDHD will be doing includes working with worksites, childcare centers, physician offices, and rural communities to implement a variety of policy, system, and environmental changes to improve the health of Woodbury County residents. On-site gardens and Community Supported Agriculture drop sites will be developed, along with improvements in cafeteria and vending machine options will occur at worksites. Childcare centers will improve physical activity and nutrition programing by completing the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) program, and physician offices will be contacted about adopting a program similar to the Fruits and Vegetable Prescription ™ model, with having on-site produce available. Finally rural communities will be provided assistance in developing Safe Routes to School routes and implementing Complete Streets principals throughout their towns.
“The cost of managing chronic diseases in Woodbury County continues to grow,” said Kevin Grieme, SDHD Director and PICH Project Investigator. “In this country, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death, disability, and health care costs, accounting for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each year, and more than 80 percent of the $2.7 trillion our nation spends annually on medical care.”
To learn more about Siouxland District Health Department’s prevention and wellness projects, visit www.livehealthysiouxland.org .
Get Public Health Information and Updates from SDHD on Facebook & Twitter
Siouxland District Health Department is on Facebook and Twitter @SiouxlandHealth. "Like" or "Follow Us" so you can get timely public health information and updates on disease outbreaks, foodborne illnesses, programs and services, and general health information.