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CDC Advisory: Clinical Guidance for Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

Posted: February 19, 2021

Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network
February 17, 2021, 2:15 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding healthcare professionals seeing patients from the areas affected by recent winter storms to maintain a high index of suspicion for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Other people who may be exposed to the same CO source may need to be identified and evaluated.

The signs and symptoms of CO exposure are variable and nonspecific. A tension-type headache is the most common symptom of mild CO poisoning. Other common symptoms of CO poisoning are dizziness, weakness, drowsiness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Clinical manifestations of severe CO poisoning include cardiovascular and neurological effects: tachycardia, tachypnea, hypotension, metabolic acidosis, dysrhythmias, myocardial ischemia or infarction, noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, irritability, impaired memory, cognitive and sensory disturbances, ataxia, altered or loss of consciousness, seizures, coma, and death, although any organ system might be involved. Although CO poisoning can be fatal, children, pregnant women, the unborn, persons with sickle cell disease, older adults, and persons with chronic illness (e.g., heart or lung disease) are particularly high risk.

Severe winter storms have left millions of homes and businesses without power across the United States. Those who lose power may turn to alternate power sources such as gasoline generators and may use propane or charcoal grills for cooking and heating their homes. If used or placed improperly, these sources can lead to CO build up inside buildings, garages, or campers and poison the people and animals inside. When obtaining a focused history of patient activities and health symptoms, exposure to a CO source may become apparent. Appropriate and prompt diagnostic testing and treatment are crucial to reduce morbidity and prevent mortality from CO poisoning. Identifying and mitigating the CO source is critical in preventing other poisoning cases.

Recommendations for Clinicians

  • Consider CO poisoning in patients affected by winter storms, particularly those in areas currently without power. Assess symptoms and recent patient activities that point to likely CO exposure. Evaluation should also include examination for other conditions, including smoke inhalation, trauma, medical illness, or intoxication.
  • Administer 100% oxygen until the patient is symptom-free or until a diagnosis of CO poisoning has been ruled out.
  • Perform carboxyhemoglobin (COHgb) testing when CO poisoning is suspected. Venous or arterial blood may be used for testing. A fingertip pulse multiple wavelength spectrophotometer, or pulse COoximeter, can be used to measure heart rate, oxygen saturation, and COHgb levels in the field, but any suspicion of CO poisoning should be confirmed with a COHgb level by multiple wavelength spectrophotometer (CO-oximeter). A conventional two-wavelength pulse oximeter is not accurate when COHgb is present. For more information, see CDC’s Clinical Guidance for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After a Disaster.
  • An elevated COHgb level of 2% or higher for non-smokers and 9% or higher COHgb level for smokers strongly supports a diagnosis of CO poisoning. The COHgb level must be interpreted in light of the patient’s exposure history and length of time away from CO exposure, as levels gradually fall once the patient is removed from the exposure. In addition, CO can be produced endogenously as a by-product of heme metabolism. Patients with sickle cell disease can have an elevated COHgb level as a result of hemolytic anemia or hemolysis. Additional information about interpretation of COHgb levels can be found within the Clinical Guidance, or call your local Poison Control at (800) 222-1222.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy should be considered in consultation with a toxicologist, hyperbaric oxygen facility, or Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222. For additional management considerations, consult a medical toxicologist, Poison Control at (800) 222-1222, or a hyperbaric oxygen facility.
  • Be aware that CO exposure may be ongoing for others spending time in or near the same environment as the patient. These individuals should be evaluated and tested as described in this advisory.
  • Healthcare professionals treating people for CO poisoning should notify emergency medical services (EMS), the fire department, or law enforcement to investigate and mitigate the source and advise people when it is safe to return.
  • Advise patients about safe practices related to generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices. Stress that that these devices should never be used inside an enclosed space, home, basement, garage, or camper — or even outside near an open window or window air conditioner.

For More Information
Clinical Guidance for Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning After a Disaster The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

USDA approves Department of Social Services’ waiver request extending Food Stamp increase through May

Posted: April 29, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Department of Social Services has received waiver approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to extend Pandemic Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (P-SNAP) benefits through the month of May 2020. This extension of P-SNAP benefits enables Missouri SNAP households to continue to receive the maximum Food Stamp/SNAP benefit amount for their household size. P-SNAP is part of the Families First Act and Missouri Food Stamp/SNAP benefit households automatically get the maximum benefit for their household size on the normal date their benefit is loaded onto their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Food Stamp/SNAP maximum household benefit amounts are available online. As of March 31, 2020, 311,401 Missouri households or 660,628 individuals receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits.

“COVID-19 continues to impact low-income Missourians the hardest,” said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. “Many Food Stamp/SNAP households now have even less money coming in which means receiving the maximum Food Stamp benefit may be the only way to keep food on the table. The Department of Social Services is doing all that we can to ensure low-income Missourians have access to good nutrition which is especially important during COVID-19.”

The Department of Social Services will continue to announce updates regarding Food Stamp/SNAP changes due to COVID-19.

The USDA, FNS approved and is currently working with the Department of Social Services to establish Food Stamp/SNAP Online Purchasing that will allow Missourians receiving Food Stamp/SNAP benefits to use their EBT card to purchase eligible food through online retailers, Amazon and Walmart. The start date is yet to be announced; DSS anticipates it may be implemented sometime during the month of May. Food Stamp/SNAP Online Purchasing will become a permanent option for Missourians.

The Department of Social Services also continues to work with the USDA, FNS to establish Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) card benefits for families with children eligible to receive free and reduced price meals to help cover the cost of meals students now eat at home. P-EBT is a part of the Families First Act. DSS will announce when P-EBT card benefits become available and will share details on how households that do not receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits can apply for the P-EBT benefit. Families that receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits automatically get the benefit added to their EBT card.

Missourians who have questions can call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Missouri Services Navigator has information on over 2,000 programs and services available in the state. Missourians in need of information on Food Stamp, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidy, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit Missourians can also apply for those services 24/7 online by visiting, or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to, or by fax to 573-526-9400.

The Department of Social Services is committed to serving the needs of Missouri citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information regarding the department’s response to the pandemic is available online

The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives. Visit to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Missouri opens novel coronavirus information hotline

Posted: March 11, 2020

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox Chief, Office of Public Information
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

JEFFERSON CITY, MO –The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. At 8 a.m. today, the hotline opened and can be reached at 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Communication is vital to our response to this rapidly-evolving situation,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “For several weeks, our COVID-19 webpage has been and continues to be a great resource for the public, but having the hotline as an additional resource will likely be invaluable as citizens seek guidance for their concerns.”

To date, 46 patients in Missouri have been tested for the virus that causes COVID-19; one of those has tested positive.

“It is important to know what to do if you have concerns about an illness during this outbreak,” said Williams. “For those who may be at risk for COVID-19, we encourage them to utilize this hotline or call their health care provider or local public health agency to inform them of their travel history and symptoms. They’ll be instructed on how to receive care without exposing others to the possible illness.”

Simple preventive actions that help prevent the spread of all types of respiratory viruses include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

For more information, visit or the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

Nestlé USA Announces Voluntary Recall of Ready-to-Bake Refrigerated Cookie Dough Products Due to Potential Presence of Foreign Material

Posted: Nov 4, 2019

Nestlé USA is initiating a voluntary recall of ready-to-bake refrigerated Nestlé Toll House Cookie Dough products due to the potential presence of food-grade rubber pieces. This voluntary recall only covers specific batch codes of the following products, which include ready-to-bake refrigerated Nestlé Toll House Cookie Dough bars, tubs and tube-shaped “chubs.” These products were distributed in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Not impacted by this recall are the following products: Nestlé Toll House Morsels, Nestlé Toll House Ice Cream Sandwiches, Nestlé Toll House Edible Cookie Dough, and Nestlé Professional SKUs.

The recall is limited only to the ready-to-bake refrigerated products below, with batch codes that begin with 9189 through batch codes that begin with 9295.

  • Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (18oz)
  • Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (18oz)
  • Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Sugar Cookie Dough (18oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Chub (16.5oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Chub (30oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers Club Tub (80oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Tub (36oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Tub (80oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Fall'n Leaves Cookie Dough (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Frozen II Cookie Dough (14oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Holiday Chocolate Chip Tree Sprinkle (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Monster Munch (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Pinch of Grinch Cookie Dough (14oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Triple Chip Cookie Dough Bar (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Ultimate Chocolate Chip Lovers (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Ultimate Turtles Cookie Bar (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House White Chip Macadamia Nut (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Bar (16.5oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Mini Chocolate Chip Bar (16.5oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar (16oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Sugar Cookie Bar (16.5oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bar (16.5oz)
  • Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Bar (16oz)
  • M&M’S® Everyday Cookie Dough (14oz)
  • M&M’S® Ghouls Mix Cookie Dough (14oz)
  • M&M’S® Holiday Cookie Dough (14oz)

Read more about this recall.

FDA, FTC warn company marketing unapproved cannabidiol products with unsubstantiated claims to treat teething and ear pain in infants, autism, ADHD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease

Posted: Oct 22, 2019

TFDA is also working quickly to evaluate regulatory policies related to cannabis and cannabis-derived ingredients like CBD

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission posted a joint warning letter to Rooted Apothecary LLC, of Naples, Florida, for illegally selling unapproved products containing cannabidiol (CBD) online with unsubstantiated claims that the products treat teething pain and ear aches in infants, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, among other conditions or diseases.

“Cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds are subject to the same laws and requirements as FDA-regulated products that contain any other substance. We are working to protect Americans from companies marketing products with unsubstantiated claims that they prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure a number of diseases or conditions. This is especially concerning when companies are peddling unproven CBD products for use in vulnerable populations like infants and...

Read the Full Announcement

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. to Voluntarily Recall a Single Lot of Johnson’s Baby Powder in the United States

Posted: Oct 21, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting consumers about Johnson’s Baby Powder Lot #22318RB. A sample from this lot was found to contain chrysotile fibers, a type of asbestos. On October 18, 2019, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled this product, and consumers who have this lot of baby powder should stop using it.

The results from the Johnson & Johnson sample are part of our ongoing survey of cosmetic products for asbestos. This survey started in 2018 and involves the testing of about 50 cosmetic products. As part of the same survey of cosmetic products, a Johnson’s Baby Powder sample from a different lot tested negative for asbestos. That sample came from Lot #00918RA.

The FDA expects to issue the full results of its current set of cosmetics testing by the end of the year. These results will include results from cosmetic products that have tested negative, as well as positive. The FDA has been releasing positive results on an ongoing basis to alert consumers to stop using those products. The FDA has also been informing individual manufacturers about their tested products that were found to be negative for asbestos as data are finalized.

Read the Full Announcement

DHSS Announces First Vaping-Associated Death in Missouri - Eighth Nationally

Posted: Sept 19, 2019

 A Missouri man in his mid-40s died this week at Mercy Hospital St. Louis due to an illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes. This is the first vaping-related death in Missouri and the eighth nationwide.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) concluded it was a vaping-related lung injury after lung samples were taken of a Mercy patient who had a history of vaping but normal lung function prior to starting vaping in May 2019. He developed mild respiratory symptoms that worsened, leading to hospitalization on Aug. 22 before being transferred to Mercy St. Louis on Sept. 4.


“This is an unfortunate case of a young man with no prior lung illness who started vaping because of chronic pain issues,” said Dr. Michael Plisco, Mercy critical care pulmonologist and medical director of Mercy’s extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program. “He started out with shortness of breath and it rapidly progressed and deteriorated, developing into what is called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Once the lungs are injured by vaping, we don’t know how quickly it worsens and if it depends on other risk factors.”

In the case of the Mercy patient, the man’s lungs were unable to provide enough gas exchange, leading to heart failure and near cardiac arrest. He was emergently placed on venoarterial ECMO in an effort to support his heart and rest his lungs.

“Unfortunately, because ECMO doesn’t fix the problem and only buys time for healing, it didn’t work in this case,” Dr. Plisco said. “Due to the nature of this critical illness, acute respiratory distress syndrome ultimately led to his death.”

Since the Missouri DHSS began advising, and now requiring, physicians to report possible vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses in late August, DHSS has received 22 reports from throughout the state of Missouri. Seven of these cases, including this first death, have been confirmed using the case definition developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nine are still under investigation, and six reports were investigated and did not meet CDC’s case definition.

“We are sad to report that this illness associated with vaping has now resulted in a death in Missouri and extend our condolences to his family,” said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS director. “As previously stated, we encourage Missourians to follow the CDC guidance to refrain from using e-cigarette products if you are concerned about these specific health risks, especially while the investigation is ongoing.”

No infectious diseases have been identified with the illness, meaning it doesn’t spread from person to person. These lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure from vaping. Patients report e-cigarette use and similar symptoms including:

  • Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Fatigue, fever, or weight loss.
  • Elevated heart rate.

DHSS and the CDC advise anyone using vaping products who experience the symptoms listed above to seek medical care promptly. In addition, if someone uses e-cigarettes, they shouldn'’'t buy products off the street (for example, e-cigarettes with THC or other cannabinoids). They also shouldn’t modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to them that are not intended by the manufacturer. If someone is concerned about their health after using e-cigarettes, call the local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Regardless of the ongoing investigation by the health department and CDC, youth, young adults and women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarettes. Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarettes. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and Food and Drug Administration-approved medications. If someone needs help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor or other medical provider or call the Missouri Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). For information on the text-based e-cigarette quit program from Truth Initiative, visit  or text “DITCHJUUL” to 88709.

For more information, please visit the  DHSS website.

Osage County Health Department 2019 Flu Clinic Schedule

Posted: August 28, 2019

Osage County Health Department is pleased to announce the flu clinic schedule for the schools and general public for this flu season. Flu shots including the High Dose for seniors are available. Flu shots are recommended starting at 6 months of age and up. Flu mist will be available this year in limited amounts. Most insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines, but it is always best to check with your plan. Bring your insurance card with you or have a copy of it for us. Both types of pneumonia shots are available as will be other adult vaccines such as Tdap (Tetanus and whooping cough) as well as the Shingrix shots for people ages 50 and over. Starting September 30th, immunizations including the flu and pneumonia shots, etc. will be available on a walk-in basis at the Osage County Health Department, 205 E. Main Street, Linn during regular business hours of 8a-4p. We ask that you try not to come on a Wednesday which is WIC day so that you don’t have a long wait time. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Parents, if your child is due for other shots at the time we are at your child’s school, please call us and we can bring the shot(s) out and save you a trip and a co-pay!

  • September 20, 2019 Immaculate Conception School (Flu and screenings)
  • September 24, 2019 State Technical College, One Technology Drive in the Health Science Building 7am to 2:00pm. TB skin tests will also be offered that day at a reduced price and will be read on campus on 9/26. A wellness fair will be held in conjunction with the flu clinic provided by the STC nursing students. open to the public.
  • September 25, 2019 Sacred Heart School cafeteria in Rich Fountain 8-11:30a open to the public (Flu & screenings for the children)
  • September 25, 2019 St. Mary’s School cafeteria in Frankenstein 12-3:30p open to the public (Flu & screenings for the children)
  • September 26, 2019 Linn R-2 School (flu)
  • September 26, 2019 TB skin test reads in the afternoon at STC for those given on September 24th.
  • October 3, 2019 Loose Creek Community Center off of County Rd 403 from 2p-6p open to the public
  • October 8, 2019 Chamois School in the morning
  • October 8, 2019, Chamois United Methodist Church 102 Third Street, Chamois 2p-6p open to the public
  • October 9, 2019 Fatima School all day
  • October 10, 2019 St. Joseph School (offered after school on this non-bus day) 3p-4p
  • October 16, 2019 Westphalia Lion’s Club 250 W. Main St., Westphalia 2p-6p open to the public
  • October 17, 2019 St. George School (flu and school screenings)
  • October 22, 2019 Holy Family School in the AM (flu and school screenings)
  • October 22, 2019 Freeburg City Hall 304 US Hwy 63, Freeburg 2p-6p open to the public
  • October 29, 2019 Meta Ambulance Building 202 N. Walnut Street, Meta 2p-6p open to the public
  • October 31, 2019 County Employee flu clinic
  • November 6 and 7th, 2019 straggler clinic for all schools and repeat screenings as needed
  • November 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21th, 25th, 26th 9a-11:30a at the Good Shepherd Food Pantry 1208 E. Lee St., Linn October 13th also from 5:30p-7p. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A DRIVE THROUGH FLU CLINIC AND open to the public!

If you wish to schedule a flu clinic at your business or church, please call us. We still have dates and times available. For questions or more information, please contact us at the health department at 573-897-3103. You may call after business hours and leave a voice message and we will return the call the next business day. We can also be reached at Osage County Health Department does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, handicap/disability or religious belief. We are an equal opportunity provider. Services are provided regardless of the ability to pay. Donations and gifts are always appreciated to help cover the cost of providing services.

Statewide hepatitis A outbreak case count reaches 400 cases in Missouri.

Posted: August 19, 2019

From September 15, 2017 to August 13, 2019, there have been 406 hepatitis A outbreak-associated cases in 34 Missouri counties. Of the cases reported, there have been 226 hepatitis A outbreak-associated hospitalizations and 2 hepatitis A outbreak-associated deaths. The disease appears to be spreading through direct person-to-person contact, mostly among people who use illicit injection or non-injection drugs and their close contacts.

Local public health agencies across Missouri are working to vaccinate at-risk populations to help stop the outbreak. These populations include people who:

  • Use recreational drugs;
  • Are experiencing homelessness;
  • Are men who have sex with men;
  • Are in treatment or counseling for substance abuse;
  • Are receiving drug substitution treatment and/or participate in drug court;
  • Work or have been detained in jail or a detention center; or
  • Have close contact with the above group(s) or a confirmed hepatitis A case

If you are a member of one of these at-risk groups and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, you can reach out to your local public health agency with questions or to request the vaccine.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown colored urine, and light colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes might also occur. People can become ill up to 7 weeks after being exposed to the virus. If you think you have symptoms of hepatitis A, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool (poop) from an infected person. In addition to vaccination, careful hand washing with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food can help prevent the spread of this disease.

For further information about hepatitis A, follow this link:

National Institute for Children's Health Quality Issues Statement on Products that Cause Infant Deaths

Posted: April 16, 2019

The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper has been tied to 32 sleep-related infant deaths, according to a statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urging Fisher-Price to recall the product. Fisher-Price issued a warning about Rock ‘n Play Sleepers on April 5, but they still line store aisles, are available for order on websites, and are holding sleeping infants in homes across the country.

While overall infant mortality rates in the U.S. have declined in recent years, sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and strangulation, have risen. Removing products, like the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, that are tied to sleep-related infant deaths can help remove one risk factor for infants and make things easier for families.

“Every year, we lose thousands of babies to preventable deaths, and that means we need to do more to help families understand and practice safe sleep practices—that includes protecting them from purchasing products that could cause harm," says NICHQ President and CEO, Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. "We should all be working to make things easier for families, not more confusing. As a national children’s health organization, we stand behind the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

In an effort to raise awareness, NICHQ urges our network to spread the word among the communities and families they work with about the potential danger of unsafe products. Read the full article here, which includes more voices from the children's health community, including Michael Goodstein, MD, a neonatologist and safe sleep and breastfeeding expert.

Read the Full Statement >

Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper Should Be Recalled, Consumer Reports Says

Posted: April 11, 2019

A Consumer Reports investigation into the safety of the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper—a product designed and marketed for babies to sleep on an incline—found that it is tied to at least 32 infant deaths. Amid CR’s investigation—and days after we asked for comment—the federal government and Fisher-Price on April 5 issued a warning about the product, which safety advocates believe does not go far enough. Medical experts tell CR that babies should be placed flat on their back alone and free of soft bedding—and not at an incline—to minimize the risk of accidental suffocation. Products such as the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper do not align with these recommendations

Read the Full Report >

Congratulations to Osage County Health Department - No. 3 best health indicators in state of Missouri

Posted: March 25, 2019

The Osage County Health Department finished third out of 115 Missouri counties in the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation's annual health rankings.

See the full report >

Floodwaters could threaten quality of private water supplies

Posted: March 25, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Worsening flood conditions could pose threats to the quality of private water supplies for northern Missourians. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) advises those with flooded private water wells or any wells suspected of being impacted by the recent and ongoing flooding to be tested for safety by the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory (MSPHL).

Yesterday, Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to the flooding. The MSPHL is waiving the fee for private drinking water testing during the declared state of emergency.

Property owners may submit samples from private wells or other drinking water sources for bacterial testing. Samples must be submitted in collection kits provided by the MSPHL. To receive an MSPHL-issued test request form, water sample collection kit and sample collection instructions, contact your local public health agency or the DHSS Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology at 573-751-6102 or

Floodwaters also pose additional health risks:

  • Floodwater can contain raw sewage and pose other risks, including infectious diseases, hazardous chemical exposure, and debris that can cause injuries.
  • Direct contact with floodwater can cause skin rashes, an infection of cuts or wounds or stomach illnesses including vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Downed or broken power lines in floodwater pose an electrocution hazard.
  • Sharp objects and debris, such as glass or metal objects, may be lurking in floodwater.
  • Animals, insects, snakes and other reptiles that have been displaced due to flooding may be submerged or hiding in debris in or near floodwaters.

Clothing exposed to floodwater should be removed as soon as possible. Exposed hands, feet and any other skin should be washed with clean soap and water.

After working in or near floodwaters, monitor any cuts, scrapes or wounds for redness, swelling or drainage. Seek prompt medical attention if any of these symptoms develop.

Anyone involved with flood cleanup should have had a booster dose of tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine within the past 10 years. Contact your local health department or your primary care physician if you need a Td vaccine.

Actions to protect your family’s important documents from flooding include gathering and storing copies of irreplaceable documents (such as birth certificates, passports, etc.) in a safe dry place, and keep originals in a safe deposit box. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route, and identify an out of region contact to be your family contact. This individual is who everyone should check in with upon reaching safety.

Other flooding preparation steps include building an emergency supply kit. Gather food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicines and a battery-operated radio to be ready to go when you are.

When floodwater comes, remember that driving in moving or standing water, wading in floodwaters or exposure while recovering from a flood can pose health risks. Do not allow children to play in or near floodwater, as banks can suddenly give way throwing a person into the moving water.

More information regarding flood safety and recovery

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.


Osage County Health Department 2018 Flu Clinic Schedule

Posted: September 23, 2018

Osage County Health Department is pleased to announce the flu clinic schedule for the schools and general public for this flu season. Flu shots including the High Dose for seniors are available. Flu shots are recommended starting at 6 months of age and up. Flu mist will not be offered as it is not available this year. Most insurance plans cover the cost of the flu vaccine. Both types of pneumonia shots are available as will be other adult vaccines such as Tdap (Tetanus and whooping cough). Starting September 14th, immunizations including the flu and pneumonia shots will be available on a walk-in basis at the Osage County Health Department, 205 E. Main Street, Linn during regular business hours of 8a-4p. We ask that you try not to come on a Wednesday which is WIC day so that you don’t have a long wait time. Please bring your insurance card. No one will be turned away for inability to pay.

  • September 7, 2018 St. Joseph school (screenings only)
  • September 10, 2018 Linn R-2 School (flu) and St. George School (flu &screenings)
  • September 11, 2018 St. George School (finish screenings, if needed)
  • September 11, 2018 from 2p-6p at the Loose Creek Community Center-open to the public
  • September 12, 2018 St. Joseph School (flu)
  • September 12, 2018 from 2p-6p at Westphalia’s Lion’s Club, 250 W. Main St., Westphalia- open to the public
  • September 17, 2018 Sacred Heart School cafeteria in Rich Fountain-open to the public from 10a-12n (flu)
  • September 17, 2018 St. Mary’s School cafeteria in Frankenstein-open to the public from 12:30p-3:30p (flu and screenings)
  • September 18, 2018 from 7a-12:30 , new Health Sciences Center on main campus at 1 Technical Drive in Linn-open to students, staff and public. A free wellness fair will be held in conjunction with the flu clinic by the STC nursing program students.
  • September 18, 2018 from 2p-6p at Meta Ambulance Building 202 N. Walnut Street-open to the public
  • September 21, 2018 Immaculate Conception School in Loose Creek in the morning (flu and screenings)
  • September 24, 2018 Fatima School all day (flu)
  • October 2, 2018 Chamois R-1 School in the morning (flu)
  • October 2, 2018 from 2p-6p at the Chamois United Methodist Church, 102 Third Street, Chamois-open to the public
  • October 9, 2018 Holy Family School in Freeburg in the morning (flu and screenings)
  • October 9, 2018 from 2p-6p at Freeburg City Hall, 304 US Hwy 63, Freeburg- open to the public
  • October 15, 2018 straggler clinic for all schools and repeat screenings as needed
  • October 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th from 9a-11:30a at the Good Shepherd Food Pantry. October 10th also from 5:30p-7p

For questions or more information, please contact us at the health department at 573-897-3103. You may call after business hours and leave a voice message and we will return the call the next business day. We can also be reached at Delivery of services on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, handicap/disability or religious belief is prohibited. We are an equal opportunity provider. Services are provided regardless of the ability to pay. Donations and gifts are always appreciated to help cover the cost of providing services.

Maternal Child Health Services Contract Work Plan

Posted: July 3, 2018

The goal of the Maternal Child Health Services Contract Work Plan is to prevent and lower the rates at which adolescents use illegal substances and to create better access to substance use programs.

Read the Full Work Plan

Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Posted: July 3, 2018

Take a Stand to End HPV Cancer by Vaccinating your Preteen Patients this Summer!

Posted: July 3, 2018

As you may know, the human papillomavirus (HPV) causes six types of cancer and is a common infection. In fact, 9 out of 10 adults – both men and women – are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. Fortunately, we have a vaccine that will prevent this infection and many of the cancers it causes. In the United States, 6 out of 10 of girls and boys aged 13-17 have started the HPV vaccination series, but only 4 out of 10 of girls and boys are up to date on the full series.

On June 8th, 2018 the American Cancer Society (ACS) launched a public health campaign to eliminate vaccine-preventable HPV cancers, starting with cervical cancer. Their goal is to have 80% of 13-year old boys and girls fully vaccinated with HPV vaccine by 2026 – 20 years after the introduction of the first HPV vaccine. It’s a daunting goal – but with the support of healthcare providers and clinic staff like you around the country working to improve HPV vaccination, it is possible. Learn more about the campaign and find posters and fact sheets at

What can you do to reach an HPV vaccination rate of 80%?

  1. Vaccinate your patients at the recommended age of 11-12 years, as recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
  2. Know your HPV vaccination rates. To achieve a goal of 80%, it helps to know your starting point: your practice’s current rates.
  3. Recommend HPV vaccine the same day and the same way you recommend all other vaccines. For example, “I see here that Luis just turned 11. Because he’s 11, Luis is due for meningitis, HPV, and Tdap vaccines. We’ll give those at the end of today’s visit.”
  4. Engage everyone in your office. Ensure that each team member, from front desk to medical assistant, is aware of the importance of HPV vaccine, educated on proper vaccination practices and recommendations, and ready to answer parents’questions.
  5. Implement systems to ensure you never miss an opportunity. Create a system to check immunization status ahead of all visits. Schedule appointments for the next dose the same day as the first. Utilize reminder/recall systems. (The ACS National HPV Vaccination Roundtable has helpful action guides.


The California Department of Public Health has resources to help you educate parents of your adolescent patients. Order resources for free from your local health department.

To see a world free of HPV cancers, we must act now. Will you take a stand to eliminate HPV cancers?

Suicide is a Public Health Problem: Part 1 of 3

Posted: June 19, 2018

This is the first part of a three part series. The first article addresses statistics for the country, state and county in regards to rate of suicide, suicide attempt and suicide ideation and risk factors identified in rural areas.

Suicide is a serious national public health problem. It has been identified as one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States occurring at a rate twice as high as homicide per the CDC latest statistics for 2016. During 2001-2015, suicide rates were consistently higher in rural areas than in metropolitan areas for both males and females. Per the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp) “Suicide Statistics” report, 44,965 people die from suicide every year. The report also noted that for every completed suicide, there are 25 suicide attempts. The age-adjusted suicide rate in the U.S. is 13.42 per 100,000. Men die by suicide 3.53 times more often than women. The rate of suicide is greatest in middle age- Caucasian men, in particular. The nation’s highest suicide rate was 19.72 among adults between 45 and 54 years of age, in 2016.

In Missouri, data from 2005-2015 demonstrates a state-wide suicide rate of 14.49 per 100,000. The state homicide rate for the same period is 7.57-almost less than half the rate of suicide in the state. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the state while homicide ranked 15th. Missouri overall ranked 15th of the 50states and the District of Columbia in the rate of suicide. State statistics bear out that there are more males than females who complete or attempt suicide. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 25-34, the 3rd leading cause of death for ages10-24, the 4th leading cause of death for ages 35-54, the 8th leading cause of death for ages 55-64 and 17th leading cause of death for ages 65 and older.

Osage County data for 2005-2015 MOPHIMS- Missouri Resident Death –Leading Causes Profile shows that 29 people took their own lives at a rate of 19.17 vs the state rate of 14.49 for the same time period. There were no homicides reported for the same time period. For the 2005-2015 time periods, the Osage County rate showed the county in the lowest 20% of the state suicide rate. These are the latest statistics available from the DHSS data base.

Self-Inflicted Injury Indicator Data Years Count Rate
U.S. 2001-2015 13.42 44,193
Missouri 2005-2015 14.49 9,648
Osage County 2005-2015 19.17 29

HOWEVER, it looks as though the Osage County statistics will demonstrate a drastic increase on future statistical reports. Osage County Coroner, Lois Jaegers, RN, reports that from May, 2017 to mid-May, 2018, she has attended to 9 suicides in the county. By contrast, Maries County has had 3 reported, Gasconade County reported 4 and Miller County reported 6 suicides during the same time period. She brought this to the attention of Sheriff Mike Bonham who invited a group to investigate this unfortunate phenomenon. The Osage County Suicide Prevention Task Group has met twice so far with another meeting scheduled next month to work on this growing issue in the county.

Suicide is defined as death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior.

A suicide attemptis non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt might not result in injury.

Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

Use of firearms accounts for almost half of the suicides in the country with poisoning, suffocation and other means used in the remainder. On average, one person dies from suicide every 8 hours in Missouri per the afsp. The rate in the U.S. and Missouri has jumped 24% since 1999 with the steepest growth occurring since 2006, according to the CDC.

Risk factors for suicide include mental health diseases such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, alcoholism, or substance misuse. Suicide is a leading cause of death for people seriously affected by mental illness. During the 2001-2015 time period, the CDC article, “Preventing Suicide in Rural America” notes that suicide rates were consistently higher in rural areas than in metropolitan areas for both sexes. Rates with the highest rates and greatest increases occur in more rural areas.

Important risk factors for rural area suicides can include:

  • Living in an isolated location
  • Difficulty in accessing mental and behavioral health services due to cost, access to transportation and other distance-related issues such as shortage of mental health care providers in the area.
  • Economic factors such as unemployment and persistent poverty
  • Mental health stigmas that delay or prevent seeking help.

Other risk factors according to the National Institute of Mental Health can include:

  • History of prior suicide attempts
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Chronic pain
  • Family history of mental health disorders, or substance use disorders
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Recent release from jail or prison
  • Exposure to others’ suicidal behavior, such as friends, family or peers
  • Chaotic family history (separation, divorce or incarceration
  • Lack of social support
  • Easy access to lethal means (guns, drugs, medications)
  • Legal difficulties
  • Barriers to accessing health care.

Osage County 911 reports 87 calls were taken in 2017 in regards to suicide, suicide attempts and suicide ideation. So far in 2018, the County 911 center has taken 30 calls. Based on the 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and mental Health, it is estimated that 0.5% of adults aged 18 years and older made at least one suicide attempt. This translates to approximately 1.3million adults in the U.S. The table below shows self-inflected Injury Indicators for Osage County*:

Self-Inflicted Injury Indicator Data Years Count Rate State Rate
Deaths 2005-2015 29 19.17 14.49
Hospitalizations 2004-2014 68 4.76 7.37
Emergency Room  Visits 2004-2014 24 0.17 0.61
Death rates are per year per 100,000 and are age adjusted Hospitalization rates are per year per 10,000 ER visit rates are per year per 1000 population All are age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population. *MOPHIMS-Profile Builder/td>

According to the CDC Suicide Policy Brief, “many more people are hospitalized as a result of nonfatal suicidal behavior (suicide attempts) than are fatally injured, and an even greater number are either treated in ambulatory settings (e.g., emergency departments) or not treated at all.” The above table doesn’t therefore, includes, visits to urgent cares or to primary care providers or direct referrals to mental health providers. The 2017 Status Report on Missouri’s Substance Use and Mental Health notes that the percentage of Osage County* students in the prior 12 months:

  2016 2014 2012 2010
Seriously considered attempting suicide 10.1 12.1 12.4 12.6
Made plans about how they would attempt suicide 6.3 9.8 10.2 6.5
Attempted suicide 0.8 4.5 3.8 6.5

*Some year-to-year difference in percentages are not statistically significant.

There are numerous studies supporting the trend that suicide is occurring at a higher rate in rural communities among almost all ages and genders. There are many factors that have been identified that contribute to suicide or its ideation. Osage County is not immune from the devastation that suicide causes-whether the victims or survivors of the victims. Suicide takes its toll on the entire community. Most of us have been touched by suicide be it directly such as a family member or indirectly by trying to support a friend or colleague who lost a family member or close friend to suicide. Suicide is a wakeup call to our community that we need to tear down barriers that prevent people from not only seeking, BUT being able to obtain mental health care in a timely and non-judgmental manner.

The second part of this series will discuss signs and symptoms of depression and other mental health diseases and what we, as individuals and groups can do to help. The third part will discuss treatment of depression and recovery of the devastating aftereffects of suicide.

Summer Cookout Tips

Posted: June 19, 2018

Keep Hot Foods Hot & Cold Foods Cold

  • Whether in your kitchen or enjoying the great outdoors, there are food safety principles that never change.

Hot or Cold?

  • Most bacteria do not grow rapidly at temperatures below 40* F or above 140* F. The temperature range in between, is known as the “Danger Zone.”

Keep Everything Clean

Safe Drinking Wate

  • Bring bottled or tap water for drinking
  • Boil the water if you are unsure if it is safe to drink

Use A Food Thermometer

  • Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness
  • Digital thermometers register the temperature in the very tip of the probe
  • Good for thin foods, e.g. hamburger patties, boneless chicken breasts..
  • Dial thermometer determines the temperature of a food by averaging the temperature along the stem of the probe, therefore, should be inserted 2 to 2 ½ inches into the food. If the food is thin, the probe must be inserted sideways into the food.


  • Biodegradable liquid and solid soaps can be used for cleanup.
  • Do not use biodegradable soaps in or around streams, lakes, rivers and springs as it can pollute. Dump soapy water on dry ground away from water.
  • Pack disposable wipes for hands and quick cleanups

Plan your menu carefully

  • Use staples that are lightweight and do not require refrigeration or careful packaging:
    • Peanut butter-plastic jars
    • Concentrated juices o Canned tune, chicken, ham and beef
    • Dried noodles and soups o Beef jerky and other dried meats
    • Dehydrated foods
    • Dried fruits and nuts
    • Powdered milk and fruit drinks

For more information, go to or contact us at 573-897-3103 or

Delta Recalls Strollers Due to Fall Hazard

Posted: Oct 1, 2017

This recall involves J is for Jeep brand cross-country all-terrain jogging strollers, models and lot numbers listed below, manufactured by Delta. The strollers have two wheels in the back and one smaller wheel in the front. “J is for Jeep” is printed on the side of the stroller sun canopy and a star with a circle around it logo is printed on the front bottom of the seat and on the side of the stroller. The model number and lot number are printed on a Delta Children label with a blue heart at the left bottom frame support. Learn more about this recall.

Osage County Health Department 2017 Flu Clinic Schedule

Posted: Sept 10, 2017

Osage County Health Department is pleased to announce the flu clinic schedule for the schools and general public for this flu season. Flu shots including the High Dose for seniors are available. Flu shots are recommended starting at 6 months of age and up. Flu mist will not be offered as it is not available this year.  Most insurance plans cover the cost of the flu vaccine.  Both types of pneumonia shots are available as will be other adult vaccines such as Tdap (Tetanus and whooping cough).  Starting September 11th, immunizations including the flu and pneumonia shots will be available on a walk-in basis at the Osage County Health Department, 205 E. Main Street, Linn during regular business hours of 8a-4p.  We ask that you try not to come on a Wednesday which is WIC day so that you don’t have a long wait time. Please bring your insurance card. No one will be turned away for inability to pay.

  • September 12, 2017 St. George School and Linn R-2 School
  • September 13, 2017 St. Joseph’s School, Westphalia in the morning
  • September 13, 2017 from 2p-6p at Westphalia’s Lion’s Club, 250 W. Main St., Westphalia- open to the public
  • September 18, 2017 St. Mary’s School cafeteria in Frankenstein-open to the public 9a-12n
  • September 18, 2017 Sacred Heart School cafeteria in Rich Fountain-open to the public from 2p-4p
  • September 19, 2017 from 7a-12n at STC activity center, 1 Technical Drive in Linn-open to students, staff and public. A free wellness fair will be held in conjunction with the flu clinic by the STC nursing program students.
  • September 19, 2017 from 2p-6p at Meta Ambulance Building 202 N. Walnut Street-open to the public
  • September 25, 2017 Fatima School all day September 27, 2017 Immaculate Conception School in Loose Creek in the morning
  • September 27, 2017 from 2p-6p at the Loose Creek Community Center on County road 403, Loose Creek-open to the public
  • October 2, 2017 Chamois R-1 School in the morning
  • October 2, 2017 from 2p-6p at the Chamois United Methodist Church, 102 Third Street, Chamois-open to the public
  • October 10, 2017 Holy Family School in Freeburg in the morning
  • October 10, 2017 from 2p-6p at Freeburg City Hall, 304 US Hwy 63, Freeburg- open to the public
  • October 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th from 9a-11:30a at the Good Shepherd Food Pantry.  
  • October 11th also from 5:30p-7p

For questions or more information, please contact us at the health department at 573-897-3103.  You may call after business hours and leave a voice message and we will return the call the next business day.  We can also be reached at Delivery of services on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, handicap/disability or religious belief is prohibited. We are an equal opportunity provider.  Services are provided regardless of the ability to pay.  Donations and gifts are always appreciated to help cover the cost of providing services.

Online map will help families locate local summer food programs

Posted: June 9, 2017

Sara O’Connor, Chief

Office of Public Information

Free meals will be served to low-income children at hundreds of locations in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers an online map that can help low-income families in Missouri find out where their children can receive free meals this summer.

The interactive map pinpoints hundreds of locations in Missouri where meals will be provided through the state health department’s Summer Food Service Program.

Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs and other spots where children gather when school is not in session.

The meals are provided to children who receive free or reduced price meals during the regular school year. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program.

“Summer can be a time of food insecurity for students who receive free and reduced lunches during the school year,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “This interactive map will help ensure Missouri’s children are getting critical nutrition all year long.”

The map is located at The map can be searched by city, county or zip code. For families without access to the Internet, many community libraries have computers the public can use free of charge. More information is also available by calling, toll-free, 1-888-435-1464 or through RELAY MISSOURI for the Hearing and Speech Impaired at 1-800-735-2966.

Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. They are also provided to individuals age 18 to 21 that have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Organizations interested in providing meals through the program can also write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Department of Health and Senior Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Be careful returning to flood-damaged homes, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says

Posted: May 3, 2017

Contact: Lori Buchanan
Office of Public Information

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services urges Missourians to take extra precautions when returning to flood-damaged homes, apartments or businesses during clean-up efforts. The dangers are not over after the water goes down.

“Please be careful as you return to your homes as gas pipes, power lines and structural damage can cause life-threatening injuries and fall risks,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said.

Flood hazards such as a weakened foundation, exposed wires or contaminated floodwater are not always obvious and can be life-threatening. Always follow instructions of emergency personnel as to when it is safe to return. Following the tips below will help ensure safety after the storm.

  • Turn off the electricity and all other utilities before going inside to prevent electrocution, gas leaks and other issues. Even if the power company turned off electricity to the area, be sure to shut the power off in your home. Do not use appliances or motors that were wet, unless they are taken apart, cleaned and dried.
  • Call the electric or gas company immediately if you find downed power lines or suspect a gas leak. Look for outside damage, such as cracks in the foundation or gaps between stairs and the house. If you see damage, have a building inspector check the house before entering.
  • Be alert for gas leaks – do not strike a match or use an open flame.
  • Look before stepping into your home. Floors and stairs can be very slippery. Discard refrigerated food if power was out for at least four hours or if the refrigerator door was opened during a power outage.
  • Throw away food if there is any chance it came into contact with flood water.
  • Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers.
  • Use bottled water that has not been in flood waters. If bottled water is not available, boil any tap water before use.
  • Get a booster tetanus vaccine if you have not had a dose within the past 10 years or are unsure of the last time you had one. If you get a deep cut or puncture wound, seek immediate medical attention and ask about a tetanus booster.
  • Be sure to wear proper clothing and safety gear when cleaning up after a flood.
  • Immediately clean all wounds and cuts with soap and clean water.
  • Control moisture in your home to prevent mold growth. Use a disinfectant (one-and-one half cups household bleach in a gallon of water) if needed, and especially if the water damage occurred because of floodwaters or sewage backup.
  • Tip and toss any water pooled in outdoor containers to avoid mosquito breeding grounds.

For more information regarding flood recovery, go to

WIC Changes

Posted: January 10, 2016

Due to recent staffing changes within our Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, our WIC days and hours will vary from week to week. While this is likely a temporary change, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. As always, during WIC clinics, participants are seen by appointment only. If you missed your last appointment and would like to reschedule, please give us a call as soon as possible. If you are not currently on WIC and would like to apply, please call at 573-897-3103 so we may assist you.  

Tetanus boosters/flooding

Posted: December 29, 2015

Contact: Susan Long RN/Administrator
Osage County Health Department

As a result of the current and anticipated flooding, Osage County Health Department will have Tdap (tetanus) booster shots available at no charge for the next 2 weeks for anyone living in a flooded or flood prone area of Osage County who might need one. We have done these in the past for various flood situations in Osage County. If you have had a tetanus booster (Tdap or Td) within the last 5 years, you should not need an update unless your health care provider determines it would be best for you to get a booster now. If you can’t remember when your last tetanus shot was, you should get one. This immunization not only protects against tetanus which can cause serious neurological problems or death, but also protects you against pertussis (whooping cough). In getting this protection for yourself, you are also protecting any children you may be around. If your child(ren) are not current on their tetanus (dtap) shots, this would be a good time to boost their immunity also. The children should have had a dtap at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 1 year of age. The kindergarten booster dose can be given at age 4 years and should be considered for now rather than waiting until the child is 5 years old. If your child is 11 years of age, they can also get a Tdap booster now rather than waiting until 8th grade. This will offer greater protection now with the potential risk of exposure from the flooding.

If you are unsure, you may contact your health care provider’s office and/or the Osage County Health Department at 573-897-3103 and we will see if we have a record available for you. Whether you are talking with your health care provider or the health department, ask about any other vaccines that might also be recommended due to this situation. Our current hours of operation are 8-4:30. Special accommodations can be made by calling and asking. Should you have questions, please feel free to call. If you call after hours, you may leave a voice message and we will get back to you the next business day. If you feel you have an emergency, you should call 9-1-1. The local emergency operation center can contact me or someone from my staff in short order, as needed.

If your well is submersed in flood waters, it is recommended to not use the water until the well is flushed and the system has been disinfected. A sample should be submitted to a private or state lab for testing before the well is used.  Please contact the Osage County Health Department for more information. 

Salmonella Discovered at Good Earth Egg Company

Posted: December 23, 2015

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has recently conducted testing at the Good Earth Egg Company processing facility in Bonne Terre, Mo., and received sample results that indicated the presence of Salmonella bacteria at the facility. The facility has been ordered to remain closed until remediation efforts and re-sampling of the facility occurs.

DHSS urges individuals that may consume eggs from the Good Earth Egg Company to fully cook their eggs to 165 degrees, avoid cross contamination of raw eggs with ready to eat foods and wash their hands after handling eggs. Alternatively, consumers may choose to throw away any products from Good Earth Egg Company.

Symptoms of salmonellosis (illness caused by Salmonella bacteria) include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or stomach cramps. Salmonellosis usually develops within six to 72 hours after a consumer’s exposure to Salmonella bacteria and generally lasts three to seven days. Salmonella bacteria can be transmitted from person to person. Some individuals who are infected may have no symptoms at all but may still transmit the Salmonella bacteria to others. The spread of Salmonella from person to person may be avoided by careful hand washing with soap and water, particularly after using the restroom.

Consumers who may experience the symptoms described above should consult a health care provider and discuss the possibility of Salmonella infection, or other causes of such symptoms. If salmonellosis is diagnosed, the local health department should be contacted to report the condition.

Missouri Poison Center

Button Battery Safety

Posted: October 21, 2015

Kids Find and Swallow the Strangest Things.

It's not always a game of 'Button, button, who's got the button?' with every object a child might swallow. There are a few things that can become quite dangerous, quite quickly. One possibly dangerous thing to know about is the small, flat batteries that power some portable electronics such as remote controls, watches, calculators, toys, hearing aids, ear or thermal scan thermometers, kitchen scales, sing-along books, musical greeting cards and decorative lights. Different names used for them include button batteries, coin batteries, and disk batteries.

Last year the Missouri Poison Center handled 81 cases of people swallowing button batteries, and two-thirds were in children aged 9 months to 5 years old.

If a button battery is swallowed, most of the time it passes quickly into the stomach where it is out of danger, and all the way through and out the other end without a problem. BUT, if the button battery should happen to get stuck on the way down to the stomach, it can immediately begin to cause an electrical burn. It can burn a hole at the spot where it is trapped in a matter of hours.

An older child or an adult who gets a button battery stuck will know it immediately because it is uncomfortable and start complaining that it hurts when they swallow, or even that they can't swallow at all. On the other hand, a young child, or an older child or adult with special needs, might not be able to indicate that anything is wrong. Maybe the only clue they give that the battery got stuck is acting fussy, or drooling, or refusing to eat or drink anything.

The only way to be safe and be sure when anyone swallows a button battery is to call the Poison Help line for advice at 1-800-222-1222. Be prepared to head out to the nearest hospital emergency room for an immediate X-ray to find out if the battery is in a safe spot or not.

  • Track down all the small electronics with button batteries in the house. Check the battery compartment to see if it closes tightly and is hard to open. A cover that screws down is ideal. sometimes the slim and sleek models are very easy to open and get the battery out.
  • Keep devices out of reach if the battery compartments aren't secure, and lock up replacement batteries.
  • When the battery is used, throw it in the trash right away. Put it inside something else like an empty milk jug so it won't bounce out of the trash can. Little fingers go everywhere. Program the Poison Help line into your phone, 1-800-222-1222.

Car Seat Recalls

Posted: October 5, 2015

What every parent needs to know and do

In 2014, more than six million car seats were recalled for a safety defect – the largest car seat recall in U.S. history. Yet, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fewer than half of those car seats received the necessary repair.

"The safety of children in cars is our biggest priority," said Administrator Rosekind. "NHTSA is committed to helping parents register their car seats and other child products with manufacturers, which we know is critical if there is a recall. We're also committed to working with manufacturers to make sure parents receive a quick and thorough solution during a recall so children are protected."

To understand why so few recalled car seats get repaired and to educate parents about the importance of recalls, Safe Kids Worldwide released ""Car Seat Recalls: What Every Parent Needs to Know," a new study which reveals that only 42 percent of parents said they filled out and returned the registration card. That means that on average, six out of 10 parents risk not hearing about a car seat recall in the most timely and dependable manner – directly from the manufacturer. The study, funded through an annual research grant from the General Motors Foundation, surveyed 562 parents of children who use a car seat, and collected responses from 44 parents who participated in an online bulletin board discussion.

  • 80 percent of parents surveyed said that the car seat registration card is important but only 42 percent returned the card.
  • In 2014, more than 6 million car seats were recalled for a safety defect, yet fewer than half of them were fixed.
  • Parents need to either send in the card or register online.
  • If there is a recall, act on it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Beginning March 1993, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 required manufacturers to provide a postage-paid registration form with each new child safety seat sold, with the goal of increasing consumer response to child seat recalls. Before March 1993, registration was voluntary for manufacturers. Before the rule took effect in 1993, the average repair rate was 13.8 percent. After registration cards were required, the rate rose to 21.5 percent. National efforts to increase consumer awareness, including CPS technicians talking with families and using a checklist, awareness have been ongoing.

Techs have an opportunity at community education events to share this information to the public. Our new infographic has resources for the parent on how to register their seat and check for recalls. Encourage parents to sign up for recall notification via email. A handy tip to share with families is to take a photo of the car seat label and save it for future reference.

  • Read the report: Recall Report: What Every Parent Should Know
  • Great handout to provide parents at inspections: Recall Infographic
  • How to find out if a seat has been recalled: Check for Recalls
  • What NHTSA says about report: NHTSA Press Release

Surgeon General and CDC Director Emphasize Need for Preventive Care

Posted: July 8, 2015

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden told local health department officials from around the nation that they can help millions of Americans live healthier and longer lives by refocusing the American healthcare system on preventing illnesses and injuries – not just treating them.

The two physicians and Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli were among the national, state and local officials who spoke to about 1,300 public health professionals attending the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Annual Conference, which is being held in Kansas City this week.

Murthy appeared at the conference and Frieden spoke via a live video feed on Tuesday, and Botticelli attended the conference Wednesday. Following his remarks, Murthy engaged in an extended dialogue with NACCHO members facilitated by NACCHO Executive Director LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH.

The NACCHO conference is the largest gathering of local health officials in the United States. NACCHO is the only national organization that holds meetings to address needs specific to local health departments.

"The public health could not and would not improve without your leadership," Murthy said, joining Frieden and Botticelli in thanking local health department staff members for their work.

"As a country we invest far more in treatment than prevention, and our failure to invest in prevention is literally killing us," Murthy said. He called for "an America based on a culture of prevention."

Giving an example of the value of prevention efforts, Frieden said that "improved cardiovascular care could save 100.000 lives a year in the U.S." Increasing immunizations and colonoscopies, improving treatment for people with diabetes, and reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents could also save lives and save money, because preventing illnesses and injuries costs less than treating them, Frieden said.

Both federal health officials emphasized the importance of programs to reduce tobacco use, and Murthy called for the same restrictions on e-cigarettes that are imposed on regular cigarettes, saying the electronic cigarettes can lead to tobacco use.

Murthy, Frieden and Botticelli all called for greater efforts by the medical community and government to reduce prescription opioid abuse. Frieden said there has been more than a four-fold increase in deaths from such abuse in the past decade, with overdoses claiming more than 145,000 lives during the period.

"Drug use can be prevented using evidence-based programs," Botticelli said. "Substance use disorders are not a moral failure, but a medical condition."

Medical treatment "not only helps people recover from their substance use disorders, it helps prevent overdose deaths," Botticelli added.

In addition to cutting the smoking rate and the abuse of prescription opiates, Murthy said that to prevent illnesses and injuries he supports programs to:

  • Encourage more physical activity, particularly walking.
  • Improve nutrition. "I will seek to call attention to added sugar" in food and beverages.
  • Reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems.
  • Reduce violence, particularly violence against women and racially motivated violence.

Warming Centers Available for Osage County Residents

Posted: January 7, 2015

Some of the coldest nights of the year are coming up this week! Just a reminder Osage County has several warming centers available. Please visit the Missouri Warming Center website for days and times the centers are open.

1300 E Main St
Linn, MO

Casey's General Store
501 E Main St
Linn, MO

Osage County Health Department
205 E Main St
Linn, MO

Osage County Library
1014 E Main St
Linn, MO

Children who Participate in WIC Have Stronger Cognitive Development and Higher Test Scores

Posted: January 7, 2015

By Tom Jacobs

Originally published on December 19, 2014 by Pacific Standard Magazine

New research finds participation in the federal WIC program, which subsidizes healthy foods for young children, is linked with stronger cognitive development and higher test scores.

As Jon Stewart has noted, the compromise federal budget just passed by Congress and signed by President Obama is full of unpleasant surprises. Among them: In a Scrooge-like Christmas gift, it cuts $93 million from the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC.

So it’s both timely and ironic that a newly published research study concludes WIC doesn’t just boost the health of young children and their moms: It also plays a positive role in kids’ cognitive development.

“These findings suggest that WIC meaningfully contributes to children’s educational prospects,” Brown University sociologist Margot Jackson writes in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

“Children who receive prenatal/early childhood exposure to WIC perform significantly better on reading assignments—up to 0.3 of a standard deviation—than their siblings who do not.”

WIC is a large-scale government program serving 53 percent of all infants born in the United States. It provides vouchers that are redeemed at supermarkets for healthy, nutritious food such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are eligible, as are children up their fifth birthday; parents also receive nutritional education and counseling.

Jackson analyzed two sets of data. One was the birth cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which followed about 11,000 children from age nine months to kindergarten. It includes information on WIC participation, as well as the results of a standard test given at age two, “an assessment general mental ability that indicates problem-solving and language-acquisition skills.”

The other was the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of families. It included information on both WIC participation and the results of standard math and reading tests administered when the children were, on average, 11 years old.

Both sets of data linked participation in WIC with positive outcomes. The first showed that “prenatal/early childhood WIC exposure is associated with significantly stronger cognitive development,” Jackson writes. The second provided evidence that “the benefit associated with WIC participation persists into the school years.”

To reach that second conclusion, Jackson compared test scores of children from the same family, comparing those who grew up with WIC nutritional assistance with those who did not. (For a variety of reasons, some mothers do not participate in WIC until they have had at least one child.)

These within-family comparisons “suggest that children who receive prenatal/early childhood exposure to WIC perform significantly better on reading assignments—up to 0.3 of a standard deviation—than their siblings who do not,” she writes. “This association is not explained by measured differences in prenatal behavior toward siblings, such as time spent reading with children or breastfeeding behavior, nor is it explained by differences in families’ economic circumstances during the child’s birth year.”

So WIC works. Kids who ate healthier food show signs of stronger cognitive development early in life, and their later test scores prove these initial indications were not a fluke. The incoming Congress may want to keep this in mind as it draws up the next federal budget.

Holiday Hours

Posted: December 23, 2014

The Osage County Health Department will be closing December 24 at noon and will be closed all of Christmas day. Offices will be open for regular hours (8 am - 4:30 pm ) on Friday, December 26th. The health department will also be closed on January 1st for New Year's Day and will resume normal business hours on January 2nd. For any emergencies, call 9-1-1.

Ebola/Communicable Disease Preparation

Posted: October 10, 2014

Contact: Susan Long RN/Administrator
Osage County Health Department
573-897-2139 ext 312

Training was held at SEMA on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 for various health, social services, and first responders including law enforcement agencies from around the state of Missouri in regards to the recent Ebola case in TX. There have been no reported cases or suspicions that have proven positive within Missouri. This training was attended by Health Department RN/Administrator Susan Long and Linn Police Chief Richard Bray. During the training we received the most accurate information on what has been occurring in West Africa as well as in Texas at that time from the CDC and DHSS.

Ebola transmission requires contact with blood or body fluids (feces, saliva, urine, vomit and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola. A person who has the Ebola virus will NOT be able to give it to anyone else until they actually become sick. Ebola is not an airborne disease like the flu or whooping cough. The presenters emphasized that community spread is less likely in the U.S. because the U.S. has different cultural rituals than are practiced in Africa and better hygiene practices.

The incubation period is 2-21 days with the majority becoming ill after 8-9 days though the general range can be from 3-13 days. Symptoms include: sudden fever which can get very high, intense weakness, muscle aches, abdominal pain, headache and profuse vomiting and diarrhea and a rash. Late stages will include bleeding.

The first recommendation for prevention is stay away from anyone obviously sick. Remember the spread requires close (3 feet or less) or direct contact with someone who has symptoms. Ebola victims aren’t contagious until they get sick. Good hand washing is your next best defense. Obviously these are the same things we are telling everyone for flu season and for any other communicable disease- so doing common sense things that you would normally do so you don’t get sick during any kind of potential outbreaks such as flu are your best defense against most communicable diseases. Also, if you are the one who is sick-stay home!

Other suggestions include keeping your immune system healthy by eating a nutritious diet and regular exercise, taking your medicines and vitamins as recommended by your health care provider and get recommended immunizations. There are so many more vaccines available now that weren’t around when many of us were kids in school. Our children are receiving lots more shots than we got and it has definitely cut down on the incidence of outbreaks and children getting sick and sometimes dying, but many of those same vaccines are also recommended for adults. Diseases like measles, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, meningitis, whooping cough, tetanus, chickenpox, pneumonia, influenza are some of the vaccine-preventable diseases that adults need to think about for themselves. Remember, if you get it, you can pass it onto others including children who maybe aren’t old enough to be fully vaccinated yet. Children have “required” shots for school, but there are additional shots that the CDC’s Advisory Commission of Immunization Policy advises children receive that some of our 11 year old and up children might not have received. These can include the Tdap booster, second chickenpox, meningitis, Hepatitis A and the HPV vaccines. These are available at your health care professional’s office which includes your local health department.

While all of us in health care fields including animal care or emergency response such as fire and ambulance or law enforcement have been actively training to handle emergency response to a variety of man-made or natural events since the September 11, 2001 event, there has been a definite lag in personal emergency planning on an individual level. Our 9-1-1/emergency response center here in Osage County has packets available to assist in planning to care for yourself and your family for a variety of emergencies. Many of us can remember our family “bomb” shelter that each family home had prepared during the “Cold War” and this is basically the same idea. Emergency response systems will more than likely be overwhelmed initially and will not be able to respond to every emergency all at once. Knowing what you can do and being prepared to be on your own without support for 72 hours is recommended. Develop and then practice your own personal family plan.

The next thing you can do to protect yourself and your family for a naturally occurring adverse event such as a communicable disease epidemic or a natural disaster event such as an earthquake is to learn what you can do to protect and help your community during a disaster. Take training on how to help during a time of need. Training opportunities are easily available online or through classes such as through the Red Cross. Organized groups such as CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) and MRCs (Medical Reserve Corps) are groups of local people who have received specialized training and do some training sessions together so that they can assist effectively and safely in the event of a catastrophe such as a pandemic flu or after a tornado or earthquake. People have always been great about wanting to help and we have witnessed this again and again such as with Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin Tornado and the Anhydrous Ammonia Explosion in Texas where lots of people showed up ready to help. Trouble was they often didn’t know what to do and sometimes became victims themselves. That is why it is important to know HOW to help in addition to wanting to help. For more information about joining the Osage County CERT or MRC, please contact the health department at 897-2139 or visit our website at . you can also contact the non-emergency number for the Emergency Operations Center at 897-3107 or visit their website at We’d be glad to answer any questions you might have.

I recommend that should you have concerns about Ebola, other communicable diseases or emergency planning and want to get more information about any or all of these topics, that you get your information from a reliable source. We’ve all seen the sensational stories on television and because of the short time they have available for each story, many times the whole story cannot be told. Obviously everything on the internet or social media sites is not always reliable either. Please make sure any information you are getting on a subject is from a reliable source. For Ebola, your best information will be from the CDC or DHSS websites or contact the Osage County Health Department. We are receiving constant updates on Ebola and other communicable diseases such as the Enterovirus D-68 that has also been in the news lately. These updates are made available to the health department staff 24/7.

Common sense will get most of us through most outbreaks. Your mom was right about washing your hands and covering your sneezes and coughs. Stay home when you are sick and stay away from anyone who is sick. Take care of yourself. Update your immunizations. Be prepared. Be informed from the right sources.

August is Missouri Breastfeeding Month

Posted: August 1, 2014

The local Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program provides support for increasing and sustaining breastfeeding in Osage County. This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life.”

The WIC staff and other team members have an important role in educating moms about the many benefits of breastfeeding as breastfeeding is best for babies, mothers, and everyone in our community. Breastfeeding protects the baby from getting sick and breast milk is more easily digested. Breast milk reduces risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, allergies, asthma, and diabetes, as well as helping the baby’s brain development. In addition, moms who choose to breastfeed recovery more quickly after delivery and return to their pre-pregnancy weight sooner. They benefit from having a strong connection between mom and baby, and lower their risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Breastfeeding mothers miss less work because their infants are sick less often and families have lower medical costs.

The WIC staff is trained to educate and support all moms for a successful breastfeeding experience. They provide breast pumps and offer support groups for prenatal and breastfeeding moms. A trained Peer Counselor is available by phone, seven days a week to answer questions and help mom resolve breastfeeding concerns. WIC participants can rent videos on a wide range of breastfeeding topics.

In addition to trained WIC staff, mothers will be more successful in reaching their breastfeeding goals with the support of family, friends, and their community. The community “team” of support includes healthcare clinics, hospitals, childcare providers, and employers. Each team member plays an important role in protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding. With support, moms can breastfeed anywhere.

To celebrate breastfeeding month, Osage Co. WIC will be hosting a free “Breastfeeding Class” to educate and celebrate moms who choose to breastfeed. Anyone interested in learning more about breastfeeding is welcome to attend. Snacks will be provided. The class will be held at the Osage Co. Health Department in the Co. Administration Building, 205 E. Main (2nd floor in the Commissioner Room) on August 20th at 10:30 a.m. Please RSVP by calling the Osage Co. Health Department at 573-897-2139, ext. 312. Walk-ins will be welcomed. For more information, check our facebook page or website,

Yes, we do that!

Posted: December, 18 2013

For immediate release
Contact: Susan Long, RN, OCHD Administrator

Osage County Health Department is pleased to announce that through a grant via the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for Rural Health Innovations, we have put together an ongoing listing of all known resources and services offered in Osage County to share with Osage County residents! The grant officially started November 1st are available to give group and individual education on a variety of health topics such as:

  • Wellness checks
  • Immunizations
  • Dental hygiene
  • or whatever you need more information about

Information in the areas of financial assistance, medical services, behavioral health and counseling, social services, educational services, nutritional services, early childhood education programs most at low or no cost can also be provided. The health aide will sit down and discuss services that are available in Osage County and help you decide what might be a good fit for you personally! They can get you the contact information for the agency or group who can help you and even help you fill out the application! Services can be offered anywhere- the health department, a restaurant or even your own home. Registered nurses at the health department are available to provide case management for those needing special services or screenings! Everything is confidential and there is no charge for this service.

This personal service will only be available until June 30th, 2014 as all good things must come to an end.

For more information, call the health department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 or check out our website at for ongoing updates to the listing! Osage County Health Department services are available to all county residents.

Upcoming Closings

Posted: November, 7 2013

The Osage County Health Department and other county offices will be closed on the following days:

  • Monday, November 11 (Veterans Day)
  • Thursday, November 26 and Friday November 27 (Thanksgiving holiday)

Map your Neighborhood

Posted: October 23, 2013

For immediate release
Contact: Susan Long RN/Administrator

Osage County Health Department is pleased to sponsor the Map Your Neighborhood training on November 13th health department’s mission is being prepared for public health emergencies as well as helping others to be prepared for emergencies. Map Your Neighborhood is a “9 step” all-hazards program designed to help neighbors prepare for disasters. In a disaster, your neighbors are your most immediate source of help. Traditional 9-1-1 responders may be quickly overwhelmed by demand. Some minor preparation and knowing what to do in the first hour of a disaster response may save a life, reduce the severity of injuries, and reduce the amount of damage that you, your family, and neighbors sustain. Please join us for a FREE 1 hour orientation and a 1 hour facilitator training presented by Dr. Greg Hempen, PHD, PE, RG. The training is open to the public and will be offered twice on November 13th at St. John’s Church at 920 E. Main St. in Linn. The first session will be at 2pm immediately followed by the trainer session and the second session will be at 6pm followed by the trainer session.

The health department will provide a short 15 minute presentation prior to each session about volunteer opportunities for emergency preparedness within the health department. In the event of a public health event such as the need to give out mass doses of antibiotics or to give out mass immunizations such as for pandemic flu, the health department cannot provide timely services to all areas of the county due to the small staff size. Four sites in the county have been identified as locations where a mass public health clinic could be held. Volunteers would be needed to help provide services. Volunteers would include clerical, traffic control, etc in addition to health staff. The health department just registered its own Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) and needs volunteers to help staff it. Training will be provided at no charge to the volunteers and opportunities are at St. John’s Church in Linn. Part of the available to practice BEFORE a disaster hits. For questions and to register for the training, please call Osage County Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312.

For more information about MRCs or to register for the MRC, please visit the website Refreshments will be provided at both sessions. Emergency preparedness bags will be available at both sessions and contain information on what you and your family can do to help protect yourselves. If you cannot attend either session, but are interested, please call the health department.

Flu Clinics

Posted: October 3, 2013

Osage County Health Department will be offering public flu clinics for flu shots, flumist and high dose flu vaccine on the following dates:

  • October 24th in Chamois- United Methodist Church 102 Third St.
  • November 6th in Freeburg- Town Hall @304 N. Hwy 63
  • Nov 7th in Meta- Ambulance building @203 N. Walnut
  • Nov 14th in Westphalia- Lion’s Club @2073 Highway 63
  • Nov 21th in Loose Creek- Community Center @173 County Road 403

All clinics will be held from 2pm to 6pm. Free tetanus shots (Tdaps) offered while supplies last. Pneumonia shots are available also. Flu Cost $20-$30. Insurance including Medicaid and Medicare can be billed if we have a contract with your insurance plan. Call 897-2139 ext 312 with questions.

Enrollment Starts for the Health Care Marketplace on October 1, 2013

Posted: September 17, 2013

The marketplace for health insurance shopping and comparison will be officially open on October 1. The Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, is designed to cover a broader group of people with affordable health insurance coverage including those who don’t currently have any insurance. The following attachments provide some basic information about the marketplace, how to get more information, and steps for enrollment.

Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace Information

August is Missouri Breastfeeding Month

Posted: July 25, 2013

For immediate release

Contact persons: Ginger Meyer, MS, RD, LD or
Susan Long, RN/Administrator
Osage County Health Department
573-897-2139 ext 312

The Osage Co. Health Department’s WIC Program has been ranked number one in the State of Missouri for Breastfeeding initiation rates. The program participants continue to exceed the state average in portion of infants’ breastfed at birth, as well as, those that continued to be breast fed for the first year.

The success of Osage Co. WIC Program’s breastfeeding program is a result of the Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program. The Peer Counselor completes required courses and training to learn to support breastfeeding moms. The individual education begins when the new mom learns that she is pregnant and education and support continue after the baby is born. Phone contact in the early weeks after the baby is born is critical for the new moms to get off to a good start.

During the month of August, group support classes will be offered for Osage Co. WIC Program participants. The “Advantages of Breastfeeding” is targeted for pregnant moms. During the class they will learn about why breastfeeding is important for their baby and family and how they can successfully breastfeed their baby. Protecting baby from illness, lowering the baby’s risk of future health concerns such as allergies, obesity, and diabetes, and promoting development of the brain are just a few of the many health benefits.

The second class, “My Breastfeeding Plan” will provide an opportunity for breastfeeding moms to discuss breastfeeding goals, as well as challenges and solutions that are important for them to reach their breastfeeding goals. Moms will share tips related to pumping and storing breast milk, returning to work, and seeking support.

While support for breastfeeding has traditionally been provided by the family, support for mothers from a wider circle such as trained Peer Counselors is needed. The local WIC program is committed to supporting healthier babies and families including the Peer Counselor Program for breastfeeding.

Classes are open to moms participating in the WIC Program. Partners and other support people are encouraged to attend as well. For more information and class schedule dates, please call the Osage Co. Health Department at 573-897-2139, ext. 312 or check our facebook page or website, Participants attending the classes will receive prizes and snacks will be provided.

Department Closing Early August 2, 2013

Posted: July 18, 2013

The Osage County Health Department will close at 2:30 pm on Friday, August 2nd. In the case of an emergency, please contact the county clerk's office. Regular services will resume on Monday, August 5th at 8am. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Governor Nixon's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge

Posted: July 7, 2013

Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon launched a new fitness initiative last month to encourage all Missouri families to get outside and take advantage of the incredible resources found here in Missouri by joining the Governor’s 100 Missouri Miles Challenge. They’re asking Missourians to complete “100 Missouri Miles” of physical activity by the end of the year. Whether you run, walk, bike, paddle or roll, everyone can participate.

The Governor has made it a mission to get county health departments involved in the challenge in hopes that you will reach out to your affiliates and leaders in the community and encourage them to join the challenge and spread the word to others.

For more information, visit:

News Release: State providing tetanus booster shots free to Osage County Health Department

Posted: June 27, 2013

Contact: Susan Long RN,BSN
573-897-2139 ext 312

For Immediate release

Osage County Health Department announces that the state health department will be providing approximately 1,400 doses of the tetanus booster shot, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) to the health department by the middle of July. This is equivalent to approximately 10% of the population of Osage County. This will provide a cost savings of almost $40 per dose for the health department, but does not include the needed supplies such as syringes, sharps containers, alcohol wipes, bandaids, etc.

This opportunity is being offered to all health departments in Missouri and requirements include that the vaccine must be given within 3 clinics during the month of July with provisions that additional clinics can be offered through the end of August. Any vaccine remaining after that can only be given if the person meets the Vaccine for Children program requirements. OCHD has scheduled the following clinic sites, dates and times for the first 3 clinics in July:

  • United Methodist Church in Chamois on July 17th from 2pm to 7pm
  • Lion’s Club Den in Westphalia on July 22nd from 2pm to 7pm
  • Quaker Windows in Freeburg on July 31st from 2pm to 7 pm

ALL are open to the public. A $20 administration fee is requested to cover the costs of the nurses’ time and the needed supplies, but no one will be denied service for inability to pay. This is a $40 reduction to the regular OCHD price for the Tdap. This shot is recommended for children at 11-12 years of age and up as a booster to their kindergarten shot and is required for school attendance. Adults should get a booster at least every 10 years for the rest of their lives. The Tdap is recommended for adults who have close contact with children under 2 years of age to help protect the child from pertussis (whooping cough) which has made a big comeback all over the country. This is especially important for parents and grandparents. Pregnant women can receive the vaccine during the pregnancy after the 20th week, but preferably in the 3rd trimester.

For more information or for additional clinic times, please contact the Osage County Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312.

NEWS RELEASE: Osage County seeing increase in tick bite illnesses

Posted: June 27, 2013

Contact: Susan Long RN
573-897-2139 ext 312

Osage County, MO- The health department here as well as others around the state are reporting a surge in reportable diseases caused by ticks. Tick-related diseases can cause fever/chills, aches and pains including headaches and fatigue. It can cause a rash depending on the organism. Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable at home to severe infections needing hospitalization. While easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases are sometimes difficult for doctors to diagnose.

Diseases more common to Missouri resulting from tick bites can include: Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia to name a few. Taking preventative measures is a good idea along with vigilance in the warmer months (April –September) when ticks are most active. Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of trails. Use repellents that contain 20% or more DEET on the exposed skin for protection that lasts up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents need to apply this for children avoiding hands, eyes and mouth. Use products containing permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear such as boots, pants, socks and tents. It remains protective through several washings. Other repellents registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be found at

Find and remove ticks as soon as possible by bathing or showering within 2 hours after coming indoors. They will wash off and are easier to find while they are still crawling. Conduct a full-body tick check by using a mirror or having someone else look for you. Parents should check children especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and especially in their hair. Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets and then attach to a person later. Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks. Dogs are very vulnerable to tick bites and diseases. It is important to use a tick preventive product on your dog. Check your pets for ticks daily if they go outside. Use products under the direction of your veterinarian for all pets. The CDC website has information on preventing ticks in your yard and around your home.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, you don’t need to panic. A plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively. Using the tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull it upward with a steady, even pressure and don’t jerk or twist because it can cause the mouth parts to break off. If this happens, remove the parts with the tweezers. If you can’t remove it, leave it alone and let the skin heal. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub, or soap and water. Don’t use folklore remedies such as “painting the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly or using heat. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about the recent tick bite, when the bit occurred and where you most likely got the tick. For more information regarding tick bites, mosquitoes or animal bites, please stop by the Osage County Health Department at 205 E. Main St. in the County Administration Building or call at 573-897-2139 ext 312.

Blood Drive

Posted: May 24, 2013

Blood Drive, Tuesday, May 28

Get Moving

Posted: Apr 27, 2013

Get Moving

National Public Health Week

Posted: Mar 8, 2013

For immediate release:
National Public Health Week is April 1-7th this year. The theme this year is Public Health is ROI (return of investment): Save Money. Save Lives.

Contact: Susan Long RN/ Administrator 575-897-2139 x312

Osage County Health Department invites the citizens of Osage County to join us at 205 E. Main St at the County Administration Building to celebrate Public Health on April 1st from 1pm to 8pm.

Planned activities include guest speakers:

  • 1pm Pam Otto from the Rape and Abuse Crisis Services office will be talking about personal safety
  • 2pm Jenifer Block from the University of MO Extension Office will be talking about healthy food choices
  • 3pm Andi Rice from the County Emergency Operations Center will be talking about storm safety
  • 4pm Ron Hoffman from the Linn Fire Department will be talking about home and workplace fire safety, evacuation plans and hold a fire extinguisher demonstration
  • 5pm Paul Reinsch from the Highway Patrol will be talking about personal safety at home and in your car and identity theft
  • 6pm Lucy Brenner parish nurse will be talking about the proposed Medicaid expansion
  • 7pm Joe Scott Fatima High School Superintendent will be talking about school safety

In addition, health department staff will be hosting an open house in the department with healthy snacks. Information on safe food handling at home and what to look for when eating out will be provided. WIC eligibility can be checked during this time also.

The Commissioners will be issuing a Public Health Proclamation prior to Public Health Week in honor of the theme.

The health department will have some giveaway items for those who stop by and talk with them and many nice door prizes such as a handmade quilt, a new carseat, a deluxe first aid kit, an emergency alert FM warning system and an energy saving gift bag which have so far been collected and will be given away via drawing for attending one or more of the lectures.

For more information, please contact the health department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 or visit our website at and like us on Facebook.

Ellis Fischel Mobile Mammography

Posted: Feb 25, 2013

The Cancer Screening Mobile Mammography staff from Ellis Fischel Cancer Center will be at the Osage County Health Department on April 5th, 2013

  • Women 40 years of age or older can be scheduled;
  • Women under 40 years of age with a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative (mother, father, sister, daughter) can be seen for a screening mammogram with a doctor’s order; however insurance may not pay for it;
  • Any woman being followed for breast problems need to come to
    Ellis Fischel to be seen;
  • Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should not be
    scheduled on the van.

View Flyer

Free Food Handler Classes

Posted: Feb 7, 2013

The Osage County Health Department is holding Food Service Employee Training classes to:

  • Provide information to food service employees and managers about state laws and regulations
  • Provide information on how to prevent food borne illnesses.

Classes will be held in the EOC room of the Osage County Administrative Building at 205 E. Main St. Classes are free of charge and limited to 20 participants each.

Food Establishment Managers Training
March 19, 2013 7pm to 9pm

Food Establishment Employee Training
March 26, 2013 7pm to 9pm

Temporary Food Establishment Training
April 9, 2013 7pm to 9pm

Please call the Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 to register for classes or with any questions.

Online, Off-Tobacco

Posted: Jan 13, 2013

Preferred Family Healthcare is proud to offer the Online, Off-Tobacco program to anyone within the Missouri Foundation for Health service area, and over the age 18. Click here to see if your county is eligible.

Online, Off-Tobacco is a truly innovative program, and available 100% online. In whole, the program lasts 7 weeks with only a 1-hour session per week. Sessions can be taught through group or one-on-one instruction by a trained facilitator. Online, Off-Tobacco follows the American Lung Association’s, Freedom from Smoking® curriculum. The class is FREE and participants receive education from a trained instructor, free participant workbook and $50 in nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum or lozenges) after 3 sessions. As an alternative, participants can quit cold turkey and still receive a $25 gift card to a sporting goods store of your choice. For more information, or to sign up, please contact Justin McDermott, Tobacco Cessation Coordinator, at 660-665-1962 Ext. 667 or

Osage County WIC program wins 2 prestigious awards at recent state WIC conference.

WIC Award Winners

Posted: Jan 1, 2013

Osage County Health Department’s WIC Program recently received two awards at the Missouri state WIC conference held in Jefferson City. The awards were accepted by Shauna Horan on behalf of the local WIC office.

The first award is a certificate of excellence. Osage County was ranked in the Top 10 in the State of Missouri for Growth in WIC Participants for FY 2012 which ended on September 30th. The second award was also a certificate of excellence. Osage County was ranked #1 in the State of Missouri for Breastfeeding Initiation or Breastfeeding Ever Rates from July 2011 to June 2012.

Current Administrator Susan Long attributes these successes to the previous WIC staff. Breastfeeding peer counselor Angie Hostetler and backup breastfeeding peer counselor Shauna Horan were both part of the previous staff and continue to assist moms with breastfeeding issues and offer support and encouragement to those women who are thinking about nursing their baby or who are nursing their baby. Angie is in the office for scheduled appointments for breastfeeding as well as being available by phone any time. Shauna Horan backs her up if Angie is unavailable. WIC services are offered on Wednesdays by appointment and starting in January, WIC appointments will be available on the first Monday of the month from 1-6pm to allow working moms to be seen who couldn’t come in otherwise during regular office hours.

A breastfeeding support group meets on the second floor of the County Administration Building at 205 E. Main St. on the 4th Wednesday every month from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Healthy snacks are served and children are welcome to come with their moms. The group has set topics for discussion and will be planning other activities such as a walking group for the future. Angie and the rest of the WIC staff which includes: Judy Balluff, RN, Ginger Meyer, RD and Pam Stephens, CNA are available to assist breastfeeding moms and babies as well as pregnant moms and bottle feeding moms and babies and children up to the age of 5 with nutritional questions and concerns.

The Osage County WIC nutrition program wants everyone to know that good nutrition will help provide the best possible start in life and is a necessary ingredient for moms-to-be and for children to grow up healthy and strong. WIC is a nutrition education, health promotion and supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children. To be eligible for services, you must be a resident of Missouri, meet income guidelines and be at nutrition risk. For more information, call the Osage County Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 or visit the website at or like us on facebook.