Statement of Fact:
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is providing information and guidance for the local health department (LHD) staff and other responders for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. A major concern is protecting the health and safety of the responders entering the affected areas. Additionally, DHMH is reminding people not to deploy to the area on their own but through official sponsor agencies.
1. DHMH recommends that all responders have up-to-date tetanus vaccination. In addition, DHMH also recommends that responders who have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A receive at least the first dose. While a single dose of Hepatitis B vaccine does not impart adequate immunity, the first dose will be made available for those wishing to start the series before they leave.
All of the local of health departments (LHD's) should have vaccines available. However, please confirm with your local health department before you go. Within the next 24 hours, the following LHDs will have hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations available for responders:
2. In addition to immunizations, responders should be prepared and protected against the elements. Those being deployed must be ready to face the effects of massive devastation, high temperatures, flooding, and the lack of power. Responders with health problems should take these conditions into account in making decisions regarding deployment. Therefore, additional recommendations include bringing with you:
Additional resources can be found at the websites listed below:
Go to Johns Hopkins Responds to Hurricane Katrina