Rabid cat confirmed in Shelltown area

WESTOVER — The Somerset County Health Department has confirmed an adult gray cat found in the 4000 block of Shelltown Road tested positive for rabies.   Health Officer Craig Stofko warns that any person, pet or other animal that may have had contact with this cat could be at risk for rabies exposure.  To report […]

Rabies clinics coming to fire stations in Somerset County starting March 22

WESTOVER — Vaccines for rabies for your pets are held on Tuesdays starting March 22 at various firehouses throughout the county during the hours of 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $6, and the vaccine is for one year unless you bring a current vaccination certificate and then it will be for three years. […]

School-required vaccines to be given free Sept. 22 by the Health Department

WESTOVER — The Somerset County Health Department will hold a mass vaccination clinic Saturday, Aug. 22, from 9:00 a.m. to noon to give the required vaccinations for free to 5 year old children, and first, seventh and eighth graders who will be attending Somerset County Schools this fall.

By law, all students entering the seventh and eighth grades will need proof of a pertussis (whooping cough) booster immunization, called “Tdap”, and a meningococcal (meningitis) vaccination, and 5 year old children and first graders who are starting school will need proof of a second varicella vaccination.

Tdap is a booster vaccine for older children, adolescents, and adults. It safely protects against 3 dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also called whooping cough). Pertussis is a contagious disease
that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It spreads easily when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes. The cough can last for months. Pertussis is particularly dangerous for young babies. Tetanus causes a severe, painful tightening (spasms) of muscles, including of the jaw (“lockjaw”), which can limit swallowing and breathing. Diphtheria is a throat infection that can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and death.

Free diabetes prevention program offered by Health Department

WESTOVER — Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with a Somerset County Diabetes Prevention Program offered by the Somerset Wellness Center, 12302 Somerset Avenue, suite D, in Princess Anne. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress.

People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years if they do not take steps to prevent it.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Health Officer Craig Stofko. “The Somerset County Diabetes Prevention Program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. Somerset County Diabetes Prevention groups meet once a week for 16 weeks, then once a month for 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

The Somerset County Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The local program meets at the Somerset Wellness Center in Princess Anne on Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. and is free. A number of local residents have already signed up but more participants are welcome so the new program can be held in other sites within Somerset County.