Tick Season is Back; Experts Predict Increase in Tick-borne Illnesses this Year

Tick Season is Back;

Experts Predict Increase in Tick-borne Illnesses this Year

BREWSTER, NY— The recent mild winter, together with an unusually large population of mice last year, have experts thinking there will be increased numbers of ticks and the diseases they carry this season. A single mouse can carry up to 100 infected ticks on its tiny ears and face.

“Unfortunately, it is not only Lyme disease we are concerned about,” says interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “There are other illnesses carried by ticks and we are seeing increases in all of them. Our number-one line of defense has been, and still is, preventing tick bites in the first place.”

More than a dozen tick-borne illnesses have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, including five that infect residents in the Hudson Valley region. Lyme disease is the most common and the most well-known, but anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis are present as well and appear to be on the increase. Powassan disease, a rarer and potentially deadly infection, is also carried by the same black-legged tick (commonly referred to as a deer tick) that transmits Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

To prevent these illnesses, residents should take extra care this summer when outside, especially in wooded or brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Young or nymphal ticks develop in the spring and their tiny size makes them more difficult to see. They feed primarily on white-footed mice, which may be infected with Lyme or other bacteria. The nymphal ticks then go on to bite and infect humans. Infected squirrels and birds can also serve as hosts, or go-betweens, to spread the disease to ticks. Deer play a role as well, by providing a third and final blood meal that the tick needs in order to reproduce.

Unfortunately tick-borne illnesses can be challenging to diagnose. If a blood test is performed too early, the results may come back negative when the person has in fact contracted the infection. The test is only negative because the patient’s antibodies have not reached a level high enough to be detected, which takes approximately one week. A physician makes a diagnosis based on a combination of available tests, his or her observation of the patient, along with a patient history and description of symptoms. The only way an absolute diagnosis of Lyme disease can be made is in a patient with the unmistakable bullseye rash, which occurs in only 70 to 80 percent of infected individuals.

Making the situation worse, a small percentage of patients who do contract Lyme disease

may have lingering symptoms of fatigue, joint pain or muscle aches, lasting 6 months or more

after completing treatment. The cause of this condition, sometimes called chronic Lyme disease, but more

accurately described as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, is not completely understood.

“Patients may not recall a tick bite, and early symptoms, when antibiotics are most effective, are

non-specific or similar to other viral illnesses,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat. “Not all patients get the telltale bullseye rash with Lyme. That’s why preventing bites is so important.”

Research shows that using insect repellent with 20 percent or more of DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), performing frequent tick checks and wearing protective clothing are effective methods to reduce a person’s chance of infection. As a result, even in spring and summer when the weather is warm, shoes and socks, along with long pants and long-sleeved shirts are advised in areas where ticks are common. Clothing that is factory-treated with the insecticide permethrin has proven highly effective in deterring tick bites in research studies as well. Treated clothing is commercially available, as is a spray that can be applied on one’s own clothing. These may be worth considering if much time is spent in risky environments. If clothes are untreated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends placing them in a dryer on high for at least ten minutes to kill any ticks that may have been brought in from outside. Damp clothing may need up to one hour of drying to rid them of ticks—simply washing clothes does not work.

Full tick checks are also advised. Ticks crawl upwards—they don’t fly or jump. They instinctively move up to attach around the scalp, neck or ears, where skin is naturally thinner and where animals and people alike, have more trouble finding and dislodging them. Places to especially check are behind the knees, around the groin area, underarms, head, neck and ears. If a tick is found attached, it should be removed at once with fine-tipped tweezers. Application of petroleum jelly, alcohol or other substance is not advised and may increase infection risk. Studies done on mice show that removal within 24 hours provided 100 percent protection from Lyme disease transmission and removal at 48 hours provided 63 percent protection. No protection was found with removal after 66 hours of attachment.

In Dutchess County to Putnam’s north, where tick-borne illnesses are similarly high, a five-year study has begun to test if neighborhood-based prevention efforts can reduce human cases of tick-related diseases. Two tick control methods will be tested. The first applies a low dose of fipronil, a tick medicine used on dogs and cats to kill their ticks, onto mice and chipmunks; the second involves applying a spray on vegetation to eliminate ticks. The spray, developed from a naturally occurring fungus, is safe for people, pets and the environment. Called the “Tick Project,” this research may formulate a neighborhood-based plan that can reduce these diseases, since no human vaccine is available.

If you think you have been bitten by a tick and develop symptoms within a few weeks, you should visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible. The most common symptoms include fever/chills, aches and pains, and a skin rash. Your provider will evaluate your symptoms and order diagnostic tests if indicated. For more details, visit the CDC’s webpage on “Symptoms of Tick-borne Illnesses.”

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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New Health Department Initiative Helps Prevent Environmental Problems and Saves Water

New Health Department Initiative Helps Prevent Environmental Problems and Saves Water

Brewster, NY—Earth Day 2017 is over and Earth Month is ending. However, protecting the environment is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year responsibility and springtime brings a special challenge. Melting snow and April showers saturate the ground and rates of septic failures typically rise as a result. This spring the Putnam County Department of Health is launching a pilot program that may prevent some of these failures from happening by offering homeowners free toilet leak detection tablets and easy-to-follow instructions.

“Preserving our wonderful Putnam County environment is always a priority,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “It fosters a healthy community and in this case, it also helps residents on an individual level. This new program saves water, and by uncovering hidden leaks, it has the potential to save homeowners thousands of dollars that it would cost to replace a septic system.”

“Many residents may not realize that septic system failures are a public health hazard, with the potential to cause serious illness, injury or even death,” explains interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “Unfortunately, the number of required septic repairs continues to increase as older systems reach the end of their useful life. The health department oversees a variety of septic-related activities including approving repair permits, licensing and training repair contractors and responding to septic complaints so that the public is adequately protected. ”

Homeowners interested in participating in the pilot program can stop by the health department to pick up the tablets and instructions, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) They will be asked to provide an email address so that a short follow-up survey can be emailed. The tablets are dropped into the tank of a toilet. If the non-toxic dye leaks into the bowl without a flush, it indicates a leakage.

“The problem is you can’t always hear a leak,” says Robert Morris, PE, MPH, director of environmental health services at the health department. “Most people are familiar with the noise a toilet makes when it is ‘running,’ but this only occurs when a large enough amount of water escapes. You can have a smaller leak that you can’t hear, and it can still cause a septic failure.”

If a leak is detected, an inexpensive, $15 kit to replace the flush-valve assembly can be purchased at a hardware store. Either the homeowner or a plumber can replace it, potentially averting a much larger and more expensive problem.

For advice or more information about the program, call the health department at 808-1390, or visit the office at 1 Geneva Road in Brewster.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

April 22 is Earth Day, Time to Recommit to Protecting our Planet

April 22 is Earth Day, Time to Recommit to Protecting our Planet

PCDOH Staff Volunteer Time to Commemorate Day with Early Clean-up and More

Brewster, NY—When Earth Day began April 22 in 1970, there was no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act and no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since then many successes have been won, but some of the largest challenges still lie ahead.

This year Earth Day Network has proclaimed a campaign for environmental and climate literacy. Tackling great challenges begins with smaller local steps. On Friday, April 21, Putnam County Department of Health staff will be out in the community at lunchtime, volunteering and cleaning roadside litter along the stretch of Route 312 near the main health department office. Additionally beginning Sunday, April 16, the department will be tweeting and posting information daily to spread the word and improve environmental and climate literacy.

“Roadside litter is more than an eyesore,” explains Vicki DiLonardo, the health department’s recycling coordinator. “It can harm wildlife and damage the water supply, and the quantity of roadside litter is staggering. Last year, the litter patrol operated by the PARC organization collected more than 26,000 pounds from 493 miles of Putnam County roadside.”

To reduce roadside litter, the health department runs a program that lends community members clean-up kits, complete with litter bags, litter “grabbers,” roadside safety instructions, safety vests and highway flags. Roadside cleanups are a great activity for community groups and neighborhood associations. Park and school campus cleanups are great community service projects for girl scouts, boy scouts and other youth organizations. For more information or to borrow a “clean-up kit,” contact the health department at 808-1390.

The litter clean-up program is one of a number of environmental improvement initiatives the health department spearheads. Last September the department launched a campaign to increase plastic film recycling in the county. Unlike bottles and cans, plastic film must be dropped off at a store that collects it. Currently 25 drop-off spots in the county are required to collect plastic film, which includes store “carry-out’ bags, shrink-wrap plastic (e.g. beverage cases, paper towels packs) and newspaper delivery bags.

Other environmental initiatives and events in Putnam County include a push for more residential composting, an easy and convenient way to reduce solid waste, and the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days sponsored by the health department and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. These events provide a way for residents to safely dispose of environmentally hazardous materials (e.g. cleaners, pesticides, oil-based paint, automotive solvents, mothballs, gasoline, small propane tanks). The next one is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, in Fahnestock State Park. Electronic waste is not accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. To get rid of “e-waste,” residents should call their local town for disposal instructions. To register for Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day, or for information on any other of these programs, call the department at 808-1390 or visit the website below.

For more information on the Earth Day Network, which brings together 55 environmental organizations and government agencies including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, visit www.earthday.org.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

 

Start the Journey to a Smoke-Free Life: Freedom from Smoking Program Begins May 8

Start the Journey to a Smoke-Free Life:
Freedom from Smoking Program Begins May 8

BREWSTER, NY- Smoking is an addiction—and a difficult one to overcome. For some smokers, unsuccessful attempts at quitting have led them to believe that they are unable to quit. Becoming a nonsmoker is a journey. Most people have tried to quit, even more than once, before they find ultimate success. Although the first steps can be hard, finding your path to becoming a nonsmoker is easier with the right help. This spring, the Putnam County Department of Health will be offering the Freedom from Smoking (FFS) Program, a proven way to quit smoking for good.

“We’re always looking for ways to help our residents,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “and for those who want to quit smoking, this new service provided by the health department offers extra support.”

“You are never too old to quit,” said Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Health Commissioner. “Even if you’ve smoked for a long time, there are great health benefits to quitting. It may take multiple attempts, but you should keep trying. The next time might be your success.”

FFS is an evidence-based program that has helped hundreds of thousands of smokers quit since it was first introduced over thirty years ago. Eight weekly classes, each lasting 60 to 90 minutes, are led by a certified facilitator. The program covers planning and preparing to quit, as well as lifestyle changes that will support maintenance. Use of Nicotine Replacement Products (NRT) is encouraged as part of the program, but is optional.

The FFS program will be held at the Bureau of Emergency Services, 112 Old Route 6 in Carmel, on Mondays from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, beginning May 8. Free NRT will be offered to participants while supply lasts. Pre-registration is required, as group size is limited. For more information or to pre-register, contact the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390, ext. 43258.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day for Putnam County residents is on Saturday, May 6, 2017

BREWSTER, NY—Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Putnam County residents on Saturday, May 6. The Putnam County Department of Health and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are co-sponsoring the FREE event, scheduled from 9 am to 12 noon (rain or shine) at the Canopus Beach parking area, Fahnstock State Park, Route 301, in Kent, NY. Pre-registration is required.

Improper storage or disposal of hazardous waste poses a health risk to residents and their families. For this reason, the HHW Collection Day event continues to be maintained in the budget by County Executive MaryEllen Odell as an opportunity for Putnam residents to safely dispose of toxic materials such as: household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil-based paint (not latex), automotive solvents, thinners, mothballs, rodent poisons, gasoline, kerosene, small propane tanks (up to 20 pound size), etc. For a more complete list of acceptable items, visit the Health Department website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam/.

Disposal items must be labeled and identifiable to be accepted. Items not accepted include: water-based paints (latex), used oil, lead-acid batteries, plastic bags, batteries, tires, electronic waste or any materials from commercial establishments. Materials packed into garbage or lawn bags will also not be accepted.  Latex paints can be discarded by routine means, after they have been dried out.

Call early to reserve your spot. The Putnam County Department of Health number is (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150 for questions or to pre-register.

For information regarding electronic waste disposal, call your local town. Please note that household hazardous waste items will not be accepted at the town electronic waste drop-off locations.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Putnam County, NY- Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day for Putnam County residents is on Saturday, May 6, 2017, from 9:00am -12:00pm at Fahnestock Park Canopus Beach Parking Lot, Route 301, Kent, NY. Visit http://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam for more information.   Pre-registration is required.  Call the Putnam County Department of Health at 845-808-1390 ext. 43150 for to register

Syphilis is Back: PCDOH Urges Testing During STD Awareness Month and Afterwards

Syphilis is Back: PCDOH Urges Testing During STD Awareness Month and Afterwards

BREWSTER, NY— Once nearly eliminated, syphilis has returned. In fact, in 2015 the highest numbers of syphilis cases were reported in the U.S. since 1995. Putnam County numbers have increased as well. In just one year, numbers in Putnam jumped from 8 to 18 cases—a dramatic rise of 125 percent from 2015 to 2016. The national numbers are so worrisome that a dedicated campaign entitled “Syphilis Strikes Back” was developed for STD Awareness Month in April by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The reason is to sound an alarm among health officials and the general public.

“Our Putnam numbers are disturbing,” said Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, M.D. “After a historic low nationwide in 2001, this sexually transmitted disease has resurged. Unfortunately if untreated, it causes serious health problems. For newborns it can be fatal. Last year in a neighboring county, an infant with congenital syphilis which is passed from the mother, did not survive.”

Before 2013, syphilis rates were increasing mostly among men, particularly in men having sex with men. Then in 2013 to 2014, rates began increasing among women as well, which results in more cases of congenital syphilis in babies.

One challenge of syphilis is that it develops in stages with a variety of symptoms that

can go unnoticed and clear up without treatment. During the initial stage, single or multiple painless sores develop at the site where syphilis enters the individual’s body. During this phase, the disease spreads by direct contact with a syphilis sore during any sexual activity

(vaginal, anal or oral sex). Second-stage symptoms may include a faint skin rash, internal sores, fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, patchy hair loss, weight loss, muscle aches and tiredness.

These stages are followed by a latent period during which there are no signs or symptoms, but the disease continues and a person can potentially transmit the disease to a sexual partner for up to a year after the initial infection. Syphilis can also be spread during any stage from an infected mother to her unborn baby. The tertiary stage is the final and most serious phase, occurring 10 to 30 years after infection, which may result in organ damage and death.

The good news is syphilis is curable, with the right antibiotics. The only way to know if someone is infected is to have a blood test, which is now being recommended more widely by Putnam County Department of Health officials and others. In addition to testing and diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care in patients and their partners is of utmost importance.

Primary care providers can order the test and prescribe the right treatment. For those who are under- or uninsured, Putnam County’s federally qualified health center Open Door provides these services free, or on a sliding scale. The office is located at 155 Main Street in Brewster. Their phone number is 845-279-6999. For questions about prevention, symptoms or transmission, contact the communicable disease nurse at the health department at 808-1390.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Putnam County Ranks Among Top Five Counties in NYS, For Seventh consecutive year

Putnam County Ranks Among Top Five Counties in NYS, For Seventh consecutive year

Brewster, NY—The seventh annual County Health Rankings have been released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. For the seventh consecutive year, Putnam County ranks among the top five counties in New York State. Putnam is fifth in health outcomes, based on length and quality of life, and second in health factors, the influencers of health. Last year Putnam was also second in health factors, and fourth in health outcomes, from among the 62 counties in the state.

“Residents in Putnam County are very fortunate. We have a consistent pattern of good health, based on these rankings,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Putnam is a great place to live, work and prosper, while enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Our health department is nationally accredited and works tirelessly, along with other county agencies and dozens of other community organizations to protect and promote residents’ health.”

“These rankings provide a snapshot of our county’s health,” said Michael Nesheiwat M.D., Interim Commissioner of Health.  “They form a starting point for discussing ways to improve health and we do this through collaboration with partners, educating the public, and enforcing public health law.”

The county’s move from fourth to fifth place in health outcomes may be of little significance, however there is no lack of clarity about two health challenges the county is currently facing.

The first concerns the rate of excessive alcohol use in Putnam, which continues to remain higher here than in the rest of New York State. The health department works closely with the Putnam chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and other Drug Dependencies (NCADD) and the Communities That Care (CTC) coalition on this pressing issue. The second health problem relates to the dramatic rise of sexually transmitted diseases. This problem is not limited to Putnam or even New York State. It is a nationwide trend that has all health officials concerned particularly with the rise in syphilis, which is experiencing a resurgence. Individuals may be infected with syphilis without symptoms for years, leading to tragic results. The PCDOH has been reaching out to physicians to encourage more routine testing for all STDs including syphilis.

For more information on the 2017 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, visit http://www.countyhealthrankings.org

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

11th Annual Food Operator’s Seminar Held; More than 175 attendees updated on new “Dining with Dogs” legislation

 11th Annual Food Operator’s Seminar Held; More than 175 attendees updated on new “Dining with Dogs” legislation

Brewster, NY— More than 175 attendees—chefs, caterers, owners and operators of Putnam County’s food establishments—gathered in Carmel on March 20 and 21 for the eleventh annual Food Operator’s Seminar, conducted by the Putnam County Department of Health. The seminar had representation from all types of restaurants, delicatessens, food shops, institutional food services and other food vendors. They gathered to learn about new topics and trends in the food industry. The event also offers an opportunity for the health department to recognize food establishments for both “lifetime” achievements, as well as those of the past year.

One hot topic on the agenda this year was an update on the recent “Dining with Dogs” legislation. This new public health law, passed by the state legislature, now allows restaurants the option of providing space in an outdoor seating area for clientele who wish to bring well-behaved dogs out to eat with them. Another popular and very practical topic included a close-up look at how flavor enhancement and salt reduction can go hand in hand. Additionally, the health department took the opportunity to brief food operators on lead poisoning prevention, in relation to renovations and remodeling. These prevention efforts, both in Putnam and the rest of New York State, have been significantly increased over the past year. Lead poisoning can be life-changing and is entirely preventable, and many municipalities have ramped up efforts after the serious problems in Flint, Michigan. Food safety training opportunities, and cleaning and sanitizing bleach alternatives were topics presented by two outside speakers.

The recognition side of the program included the presentation of two Lifetime Achievement Awards. One went to Christine Brady of the Carmel Central School District for 34 years of operational excellence. The second was awarded to Paul and John Aversano of Aversano’s in Brewster for 30 years of excellence.  A Food Safety Partnership Award was presented to Clock Tower Grill and Health Inspector Commendation Awards for distinguished performance went to Cameron’s Deli, Countryside Kitchen, Fresh Company Catering, JP Cunningham’s and the Mahopac Central School District. The department’s highest and most stringent honor, the Commissioner’s Gold Award for operational excellence, was distributed to eleven food establishments: Brewster High School, Carmel High School, Community Based Services, Frangelina’s Deli & Café, George Fischer Middle School, Henry H. Wells Middle School, John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Kent Primary School, Matthew Paterson Elementary School, Mia’s Pizza and Watchtower.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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NYSDOH Offers Free Lead Testing in Putnam Homes

NYSDOH Offers Free Lead Testing in Putnam Homes

BREWSTER, NY— The New York State Department of Health is offering free lead testing for residential drinking water and the Putnam County Department of Health encourages residents to take advantage of this opportunity.

“Lead is a serious environmental hazard, especially if young children are exposed,” said Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “Last year, the state health department ramped up water testing in schools. Now they are offering free testing for residential water. This is an important step to protect the not only children, but all residents in our county.”

The NYSDOH launched the $1.5 million free lead testing pilot program earlier this month. The free testing is available to Putnam and other NYS residents with a private well, or a public water system, as long as funds are available.

Children who are exposed to the toxin lead can have serious, long lasting health problems. Unfortunately lead is sometimes found in toys and other products produced abroad. Public health law attempts to reduce these problems by requiring the testing of lead levels in children’s blood, at age one and again at two. Last fall Governor Cuomo also signed legislation requiring immediate testing of drinking water in all New York State schools. Now the state has set aside funding for homes as well.

The testing is performed on two water samples that the resident collects at home. Both are easy to collect. One is a “first-draw” sample after the water has not been run for an extended period of time; the second is a “flush” sample collected after running the water. Complete instructions and a test kit with water sample containers, return packaging and postage, will be mailed upon request. The easiest way to

obtain a kit is to visit the NYSDOH website and click on the link to the Bureau of Water Supply Protection. This opens your email program and with it a pre-written email to fill in and send to: FreeWaterTesting@health.ny.gov. You provide your name, phone number, email and mailing addresses. You are also asked to select your first and second choices from a provided list of six testing sites in NYS. The lab is notified by NYSDOH and a test kit is sent to your home. Another option is to call the NYSDOH at 518-402-7650.

For more information about the free lead test pilot program, visit the NYSDOH website. For answers to common questions about lead in drinking water, visit the FAQ link on the Putnam County DOH website, or call the Putnam County DOH at 845-808-1390.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Free Rabies Vaccine Clinic Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 2pm – 5 pm
at Animal Hospital of South Putnam
230B Baldwin Place Road,
Mahopac, NY

Bring your pets –
dogs, cats, and
ferrets for a FREE Rabies Vaccination!
Dogs must be leashed. Cats &
ferrets must be in carriers.

Items to Bring:

  • Photo ID as proof of Putnam County residency.
  • Proof of prior rabies vaccination, tags are NOT acceptable. (If you do not have proof of prior rabies vaccination, your pet will receive a one-year rabies vaccination.)

Please call the Putnam County Department of Health for directions and more information at (845) 808-1390 ext. 43127.