Epidemiologists search for the causes and factors that influence the occurrence of diseases or other health-related events in the population. Public health can be directly influenced by the awareness of the community to potential health threats and know about prevention methods, symptoms and controls.
The Emergency/Terrorism Response website has the latest Health Alerts issued by the Center for Disease Control and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Other links from that site provide information about specific Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Terrorism Agents and preparedness techniques for the General Public, Medical and Public Health Professionals, Laboratory Professionals and Emergency Response Planners.
Not all disease threats come from terrorists’ activity. West Nile Virus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two current emerging pathogens that the public needs to know about to protect themselves and their family from exposure. Your St. Joseph-Buchanan County Health Department staff has experts in the control, prevention and treatment of these and other contagious diseases. Contact them at 271-5369 for answers to your questions.
In addition, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has an excellent website on West Nile Virus. This site has information about the control, treatment and updated spread of cases of this disease throughout the state on a weekly basis.
SARS was first identified as an emerging disease by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control in March 2003. For the most recent online information about the symptoms, the case definition, prevention methods, treatment and the spread of the disease in the United States and worldwide, go to http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/. The latest case counts, travel advisories and other general and clinical information are also posted here.