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All the public health news you can use

All the public health news you can use

Mar. 2, 2022

By Mary Wade Burnside

Where else can you watch locally-made videos on topics ranging from how to administer naloxone, what “dragging for ticks” means and if you should be concerned about radon rates in your home, by an actor doing a great Rod Serling imitation?

That would be Monongalia County Health Department’s YouTube channel.

We even have posted our TikTok videos, and while I admit, so far, we don’t have any that feature someone inventing a dance, performing a stand-up routine or some skateboarding derring-do, you can bet we’ve tried to come up with ways to entertain our followers while passing on important public health information.

Take “The Radon Zone.” Local actor Michael Vozniak kills with his imitation of chain smoker Rod Serling of “The Twilight Zone” fame. Coincidentally, while smoking is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in the United States, radon is No. 2, which made Rod Serling a great example to impart this message.

As for naloxone, also known as Narcan, it has become a very important tool in the arsenal to fight opioid overdoses, as known by those who follow the Monongalia County Quick Response Team (QRT). 

Anyone can keep naloxone nearby to administer it, and it can come in handy in more ways that you might imagine.

As for tick dragging, it’s one of the many procedures conducted by MCHD’s Threat Preparedness program. Staffers go out into grassy areas around Monongalia County during specific times of the year with white cloth that they literally drag on the ground. 

Then they take a good look at what might have jumped on and then carefully, tweezers in hand, place any ticks… sometimes large, sometimes just tiny nymphs that resemble a poppy seed … into a vial that is sent off for testing to see if it carries any diseases. In this area, that is usually Lyme disease.

While our library might seem small now, MCHD is hard at work creating new content to help keep everyone up to date on a variety of topics. Our current focus is telling people’s stories of how they decided to get vaccinated against COVID.

Another way to get timely health information is to follow MCHD on all our social media, which not only includes Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but also the aforementioned TikTok.

Every weekday when the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) COVID dashboard is updated, we post a graphic with some basic statistics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and also provide the link to the DHHR COVID dashboard so individuals can look up all the specialized information they want to find.

We also advertise the times and dates of the COVID testing and vaccines that are conducted at the WVU Rec Center, as well as special vaccine events, like the one held on Saturday at the old Ramada Inn.

These days, there is a lot of public health news to broadcast, and Monongalia County Health Department is utilizing as many channels as possible to get the word out. Please “like,” follow and subscribe to as many as you can.

And if anyone has any ideas on a fun skateboard stunt or a new dance move that would capture everyone’s attention while simultaneously educating them, please feel free let us know!

Mary Wade Burnside is the public information officer at Monongalia County Health Department.

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