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Public Health Department
Archive for May, 2009
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Friday, May 29th, 2009

A survey constructed by the Guilford County Department of Public Health for the staff and students of Oak Ridge Elementary School will be distributed at school this afternoon.  (more…)

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Friday, May 29th, 2009

The Carolina Kennel Club and the Animal Control Program of the Guilford County Department of Public Health are advising residents of an upcoming free rabies vaccination clinic.  (more…)

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

The Guilford County Department of Public Department has been working diligently to find the cause and the remedy for Oak Ridge Elementary School issues.

For the past 2 weeks, the Department has been working with the school system, advising it on the medical and environmental health effects of fungal and environmental pollutants.  The Department has inspected the school, interviewed teachers, analyzed the HVAC system, reviewed HVAC maintenance schedules, reviewed the consultant reports, collected information from maintenance and facilities staff, attended the school forum, met with the Superintendent and his staff, assembled our Epidemiology team, drafted a survey for parents and teachers, and are preparing to administer the survey at the end of the week. 

Guilford County Department of Public Health is very sensitive to the fact that environmental quality can have immediate and long lasting effects on children and adults.   Different organisms will cause different symptoms.  For this reason, the Department wants to make sure it assists the school system with focusing on the exact culprit.  In the natural environment, there are many causes for respiratory symptoms; the Department wants to assess the environment to focus on a resolution.

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009

• Guilford County Department of Public Health is continuing to work closely with Guilford County Schools regarding Oak Ridge Elementary School.
• On May 21 and 22, a multidisciplinary team of health professionals met to discuss the Oak Ridge Elementary School situation. After a review of three reports by independent contractors made available to the health department by Guilford County Schools, a plan of action is being put into place.
• The immediate course of action is as follows:
Public Health will continue to formally and informally survey families of children enrolled at the school; Oak Ridge staff will also be surveyed.  The purpose of the surveys will be to document changes in the physical environment at Oak Ridge Elementary School following the actions below that have already been taken:
1. the installation of a dehumidifier,
2. removal of soiled carpets,
3. identifying and repairing sources of water leaks,
4. repairing of flashings on the parapet (where the old building joins the new wing);
5. reducing the amount of items in classrooms that could harbor mold growth
6. daily carpet maintenance and reducing the amount of soils, dust, debris, and potential allergens brought into the building
7. use of integrated pest management techniques to control termite infestations where new and old buildings meet

These actions may help health officials to understand the cause of the allergic and respiratory illnesses reported by students and staff.

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