Hot Topics

Prince William Health District Warns of Rabies Concerns in Manassas Park

(Manassas, VA) – In order to protect the health of residents and visitors, the Prince William Health District (PWHD) is issuing a notice about a cat that has been found with rabies in the City of Manassas Park.

A cat that was found on October 17 in the area of Martin Drive in the City of Manassas Park has tested positive for rabies. Reportedly, the cat scratched and/or bit an area resident.  PWHD asks anyone who may have come in contact with a cat in or around Martin Drive between October 7 and 17 to call the health district at 703-792-6300. The cat was described to have long fur that was white with dark brown and black markings. In addition, the animal was noted to have an injured hind leg.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Rabies can be prevented in cats, dogs, ferrets and some livestock with a rabies vaccination. Rabies kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it. The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva and brain tissue of rabid animals. It can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound or in the eye or mouth.

To protect pets and their owners from rabies, Virginia law requires that all dogs and cats four months of age and older be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian, and that vaccinations be kept current.

PWHD reminds everyone to avoid contact with feral cats, bats, stray dogs and wild animals, particularly in the area where the sick cat was found.

Additional Steps to Protect Against Rabies Exposure:

  • Do not feed stray animals. Avoid wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks. Feed your pets indoors and do not let them wander.
  • Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and their shots are up-to-date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Teach children to avoid contact with wild animals and pets they are not familiar with.
  • Do not handle sick, injured or dead animals.
  • Keep wild animals out of homes by capping chimneys with screens and blocking openings in attics, cellars and porches. Make sure trash cans have tight fitting lids.
  • If you observe any stray animals in the area, contact the Manassas Park Animal Control Division for assistance at 703-361-1136. Please do not try to trap or handle stray and wild animals.
  • If you are bitten by a wild or stray animal do not panic. Wash the wound(s) thoroughly with warm soapy water and contact animal control, your doctor or the Prince William Health District for further recommendations.

For additional information, visit or call the Prince William Health District at 703-792-6300. Follow the Health District on Twitter @PrinceWilliamHD and on Facebook at


Virginia Agencies Investigating Reports of Illness among Men Who Took Dietary Supplement V8

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is advising consumers not to purchase or use a product sold under the name V8, which is a supplement promoted for male sexual enhancement. As of Aug. 21, 2019, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) had received three reports in the metro Richmond area of patients experiencing severe hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) after taking V8 pills. The patients required emergency care.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include irritability, anxiety, shakiness, hunger, profuse sweating and/or a racing heartbeat. Anyone experiencing severe hypoglycemia should seek immediate medical attention. Individuals and healthcare professionals should contact one of Virginia’s three Poison Control Centers at 800.222.1222 about adverse events and side effects to products.

Preliminary laboratory analysis has identified several compounds within the pills that could result in severe hypoglycemia. Testing is ongoing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported an emerging trend of over-the-counter products containing hidden active ingredients that are harmful.

VDH, VDACS, the VCU Poison Center and the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services are collaborating on this investigation. VDACS Food Safety Specialists are actively seeking this product at convenience stores and other retail locations and will remove and destroy any product located.

Hurricane Safety

The time to prepare for a hurricane is well before the start of hurricane season, which begins June 1, 2019 and continues through Nov. 30, 2019.

The Virginia Department of Health is Helping to Protect the People in Virginia from Hepatitis A

In Virginia, local health departments, in conjunction with community partners, are working to prevent hepatitis A from spreading throughout the Commonwealth. In January of this year, a statewide hepatitis A vaccination campaign began which focuses on increasing the number of Virginians properly immunized for hepatitis A.

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by a virus. The virus is found in the feces (poop) of people with hep A.

Who should get vaccinated?

Vaccination is available to anyone, but is specifically recommended for all children, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus. Although the campaign’s focus is on those who are at higher risk for hepatitis A infection, any Virginian who desires hepatitis A vaccine should receive vaccination.

Who is at high risk?

People who use injection or non-injection drugs, people who are currently homeless or in temporary housing, people who were recently in jail or prison, men who have sex with men (MSM), and people with liver disease.

How do I prevent the spread of hepatitis A?

Wash hands carefully with soap and warm water after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before eating and preparing food. Get vaccinated if you are at high risk of getting hep A!

Where can people go for more information?

For more information about hepatitis A visit: . For an appointment to get vaccinated please call Prince William Health District at 703-792-6300 in Manassas and 703-792-7300 in Woodbridge.



Free Family Support Group for those concerned about a loved one’s addiction.

Novant Support Groups 2019

Hurricane/Flooding Resources Before and After the Storm

Offers suggested actions to take before, during, and after the storm to protect your well and water system, and the need to work with a certified professional to repair or disinfect the well.  Learn more at:


Influenza Vaccination

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.

Prince William Health District is providing influenza vaccine at a cost of $30.  Please call 703-792-6300 in Manassas and 703-792-7300 in Woodbridge to schedule your appointment.

Know the RxSK

Every day 174 Americans die from a drug overdose. Every 12 hours someone in Virginia dies of an opioid overdose. 

Joining forces to tackle the opioid crisis in Northern Virginia, the region’s five community services boards (CSBs) have launched a new website Know the RxSK. Check out the website to learn more about the problem, opioid safety, and community resources.

Preventing the Misuse of Pain Medication in Student Athletes

A published article in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse revealed that some of those most at risk for getting hooked on pain pills are high school athletes, particularly
after a sports injury. The study included survey responses provided in 2009 by around 2,300 high school seniors. The National Institute on Drug Abuse sponsored this survey, and it included questions about the gender, race and athletic activities of each student. Survey respondents included football players, as well as high school athletes who participated in a broad range of other sports including baseball, soccer, basketball, track and field, swimming and diving. One of the key findings of the survey was that the athletes were more commonly using drugs than their peers, additionally, boys were more likely to be drug users than girls, and white students were more commonly drug users than Hispanic or black students.

Helpful Information for Coaches

  • The type of pain and its distribution can help a medical provider better assess the type and extent of the injury. Masking the pain with pain medication may make an accurate diagnosis of the injury more difficult and less accurate.
  • Medical professionals should determine when an injured athlete is ready to return to participating in the particular sport. It is important to have good communication between the medical provider, parent or guardian and the coach.
  • Medical providers should be requested to document the treatment plan and share it with the parent or guardian who should communicate this information with the coach. Best practice may be the parent or guardian giving the coach a copy of the treatment plan.
  • Healing takes time and the coach, parent or guardian and injured athlete need to be realistic about when is appropriate for the injured athlete’s return to playing his/her particular sport.
  • Watch for the social and emotional impact of a sports injury on the injured athlete. During recovery the social relationships, involvement in activities, and a sense of who the injured athlete identifies with may be impacted and cause negative feelings. There may be other ways to involve the injured athlete in the sport without direct physical involvement in the sport.
  • Sometimes pain medications are necessary dependent upon the extent of the injury. Concerning signs or potential misuse of pain medication:
    -Slurring speech
    -Itching or flushed skin
    -Slow breathing
    -Constricted pupils
    -Nausea and Vomiting
    -Change in physical appearance and hygiene (may be a sign of depression)
    Negative change in school performance

For concerns or questions regarding pain medication use and misuse in injured student athletes contact PWC Community Services at: Manassas: (703) 792-7800 or Woodbridge: (703) 792-4900

Safely Enjoy Natural Waters

Virginia has a variety of beautiful natural waters, which include oceans, bays, rivers, streams, and lakes. Virginians and visitors use them for various water activities; however, this carries some health and safety risks. But recreational swimmers can prevent illness and injuries by following these steps:

  • Avoid swimming in natural waters for a few days after a heavy rain event.
  • Avoid swimming in muddy water of lakes, ponds, and rivers.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming.
  • Avoid swimming or wading in water with open wounds or cuts.
  • Don’t swim in areas where there are dead fish present.
  • Don’t swim if you are ill.
  • Look for posted signs near the swimming area.
  • Be aware of local weather conditions and watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents.
  • Shower with soap and clean water after swimming.

Please visit for more information.

The Ten Warning Flags of an Untrustworthy Rehab Facility

Vectorborne Disease Cases

CDC recently released a report examining the trends of reported vectorborne disease cases in the U.S. from 2004 to 2016. The report discusses the challenges of prevention and control, as well as opportunities for vectorborne disease preparedness at the state and local level. Please click here for the full CDC article.
Bites from vectors such as ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas can pass a number of infections to humans and are a threat to our health. This includes Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile, dengue, Zika, and more. The number of annual reports for vectorborne diseases tripled from 2004 to 2016. During that time, there were more than 640,000 cases.

What can you do to prevent this? 

When you are outside, there are steps you can take to prevent the bites of ticks and mosquitoes:
o    Avoid tick-infested areas, such as tall grass and dense vegetation
o   Dump standing water around your home
o   Use insect repellant
o   Wear long sleeves and pants
o   Conduct full-body checks to look for ticks and remove them promptly
o   Don’t forget about your pets – use tick treatments and check them for ticks

Prince William Health District is a Proud Member of the Child Protection

Partnership of the Prince William Area

Prince William organizations raise awareness about child abuse

Chronic Pain Training Plan Now Available on TRAIN                                       

Opioid abuse has increasingly become a serious public health issue over the past few years, with over 12 million people misusing prescription opioids in 2015. Providers’ Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (PCSS-O) clinical experts, led by Roger Chou and Melissa B. Weimer, who have extensive knowledge in treating chronic pain, have developed a comprehensive core curriculum for primary care providers who want to have in-depth knowledge in this subject area. The curriculum gives up-to-date and evidence-based information on best opioid prescribing practices.
The PCSS-O curriculum, which provides clinicians with a solid base for treating chronic pain, is now on TRAIN as a nationally available training plan. It is the most comprehensive and up-to-date curriculum developed thus far for the treatment of chronic pain.

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 5H79TI025595-03 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

REVIVE! is the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) program for the Commonwealth of Virginia. REVIVE! provides training to professionals, stakeholders, and others on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of naloxone (Narcan ®).  REVIVE! is a collaborative effort led by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) working alongside the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Health Professions, recovery community organizations such as the McShin Foundation, OneCare of Southwest Virginia, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia (SAARA), and other stakeholders.

A Crisis of Addiction

In 2014 Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe convened a task force on prescription drug and heroin abuse to address the crisis in opioid addiction and overdose that the Commonwealth ­– and indeed, our entire country – is facing. More Virginians now die every year from an overdose than in automobile accidents, and nationally there is an overdose death every 20 minutes.

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on November 1, 2016, the launch of, a new website developed as an informational tool for Virginia’s fight against prescription drug and heroin abuse in Virginia.

VaAware is a collaboration among four Virginia agencies, the Department of HealthDepartment of Behavioral Health and Developmental ServicesDepartment of Criminal Justice Services, and Department of Health Professions.

Here you will find information of where to find treatment if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, access to resources in your part of Virginia, and the latest research and data on this crisis.

Health Alert: Potential Hepatitis A Exposure at Local Restaurant

An employee at the Tropical Smoothie Café Restaurant at 8069 Stonewall Shops Square in Gainesville, Virginia, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. As a result, persons eating at this restaurant from July 28, 2016 through August 18, 2016 may have been exposed to hepatitis A.  Tropical Smoothie Café notified the Virginia Department of Health about the case and has been complying fully with all requests.  Read more.


People who own dogs and walk them often are less likely to be obese than non-pet owners.  Additionally, research shows that just being around animals reduces stress. It is estimated that pet ownerships saves the U.S. $11.8 billion dollar in health care costs.


Be Healthy Be Happy Prince William is a web-based resource of community health data.  We invite partners, stakeholders, and the entire community to use this site as a tool for community assessments, strategic planning, developing best practices for improvement, collaboration and advocacy. Please visit for more information.

Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration

What Consumers Need to Know About Opioids

More Americans are now dying from drug overdoses than from traffic accidents and gun violence. The majority of these drug overdose deaths involve opioids—and at least half of them prescription painkillers.

In a new Healthcare Triage YouTube series, funded by NIHCM Foundation, Dr. Aaron Carroll explains the current opioid crisis and how we got here in four short, consumer-friendly videos:  Link to videos

Dr. Carroll is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Indiana School of Medicine, a regular contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times, and the host of the award-winning Healthcare Triage series on YouTube.

NIHCM Foundation proudly supports Healthcare Triage through our journalism grant program.  1225 19th Street, N.W., Suite 710, Washington, D.C. 20036

Tick-borne Disease Prevention

  • Protect your ankles.  Wear long pants tucked into high socks when doing yard work.  Wrap duct tape (sticky side out) around where the pants and socks meet so that crawling ticks get stuck on the tape.
  • Dress properly.  Use clothing, tents and other gear treated with repellent, such as permethrin.  This repellent kills ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and mites.  These products are available online or at sporting goods stores.
  • Wear repellent.  Apply topical insect repellent that contains less than 40 percent DEET.  Children should use repellent that contains no more than 30 percent DEET.
  • Conduct tick checks.  Tick bites are painless, so if you are in an area with ticks, perform a thorough tick check and remove ticks immediately.
  • Don’t forget pets.  The neurotransmitter blockers in anti-tick treatments and flea collars are very effective in keeping ticks from biting pets.  When pets come indoors, check for crawling ticks to prevent them from getting off your pet and on to you.
  • Create a tick-free zone.  You can make your yard less attractive to rodent, deer and other tick-carriers.  Keeping lawns trimmed and creating barriers between your yard and the woods with wood chips, mulch or gravel can eliminate tall grasses where ticks crawl.  Remove wood piles and stones where mice, chipmunks and squirrels may hide.  These little critters keep tick larva and nymphs circulating in nature.
  • Hike carefully.  Stay in the center of hiking trails to avoid contact with vegetation.

Zika Virus Disease

Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of infected mosquitos and may cause a mild illness including fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes (conjunctivitis).  The current international outbreaks have led to concerns regarding the possibility of birth defects or poor birth outcomes related to the virus. Zika virus has been reported in travelers returning to the continental U.S. from affected countries and continues to be monitored by public health. As a result, area providers are encouraged to remain vigilant and report suspected Zika virus disease cases to Prince William Health District (PWHD)/Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in order to assist with diagnosis and mitigate the potential for local transmission to occur. As more is learned about this virus, information and recommendations may change frequently. For the latest information please visit the CDC and VDH Zika websites ( and for more information.

CDC Zika Virus
VDH Zika Virus

Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks: This tip sheet explains common signs of stress, how to recognize when to get help, and practical ways to manage and relieve the stress by taking care of oneself. It is also available in Spanish.

EPA:  Find the insect repellent that is right for you



Food Safety in Virginia

Food Safety in Virginia


Keeping and Disposing of Drugs Safely:
Prescription Drug Take-Back Program

Tip card with directions for the proper disposal of prescription drugs 
Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse Tip Card

Virginia’s statewide Drug Take-Back Day is an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse and to keep trace drugs out of our lakes and streams.  In communities all across the commonwealth, it is a day where citizens can drop off their unused, unwanted, or expired medications at their local law enforcement agencies for safe disposal.

The Office of the Attorney General, the Secretary of Public Safety, the Virginia State Police, and local law enforcement agencies are working together to participate in this nationwide U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take-Back Day.

Drug Take-Back Day is a day where citizens can drop off their unused, unwanted, or expired medications at their local law enforcement agencies for safe disposal.

Drug Take-Back Day is an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse and to keep trace drugs out of our lakes and streams (wastewater treatment plants cannot remove many compounds found in medications; so when flushed or put in a landfill, drugs are discharged into our surface and ground water and consumed by fish and wildlife).

  • It’s anonymous and free
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted
  • Please, no intravenous solutions, injectables, or needles

Why are drug take-back programs important?

Take-back programs are the safest method for disposing of prescription drugs because they are organized and closely monitored by local, state, and federal government agencies. These agencies ensure the proper disposal of the drugs in accordance with federal law.

The dangers of not properly disposing of prescription drugs

A growing concern across the commonwealth is prescription medications being taken from medicine cabinets or the trash by those who abuse drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2006, nearly seven million Americans over the age of 12 reported abusing prescription medications. In fact, approximately 60 percent of people who abuse prescription painkillers indicate that they obtained the prescription drugs from friends or relatives for free, often taking the drugs without permission.

Children or pets may ingest undisposed or improperly disposed medications. This can lead to overdose, injury, and even death.

Many people believe that flushing or simply throwing away drugs is the best way to dispose of medications, however, if not disposed of properly, the drugs can contaminate the ground and waterways. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove or process many compounds found in medications. Instead, when flushed or put in a landfill, the drugs are discharged into our surface and ground water.

Pharmaceutical contaminants in water have been shown to cause serious harm to fish and wildlife living in and near rivers and lakes. Humans can also be exposed to these chemicals when they drink water drawn from contaminated bodies of water or eat wild game or fish. The long-term human health risks from exposure to even very small amounts of these chemicals is not yet known.

Home disposal:  What to do on other days of the year when there is no take-back program available

If a take-back program is not available, home disposal, when completed correctly per the instructions below, is another option to dispose of prescription drugs:

  • Step 1- Remove medications from their original containers. If the medication is solid, crush it or add water to dissolve it and then mix the medication with an undesirable substance, such as kitty litter or coffee grounds. This makes the mixture unattractive to children and pets and unrecognizable to potential abusers who may go through your trash.
  • Step 2- Place the mixture in a container with a lid or in a sealable baggie to prevent the medication from leaking, and throw it into the trash.
  • Step 3- When discarding the original containers, scratch out or remove identifiers on the bottle and/or packaging.


  • DO NOT dispose of medications in the toilet or sink, unless specifically instructed to on the label.
  • DO NOT give medicine to friends or family. This is not only potentially illegal, but a drug that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
  • When in doubt, consult your pharmacist.

Manual for localities:  “Hosting a Successful Prescription Drug Take-Back Event”

In 2010, the Office of the Attorney General created a task force to create a model practice aimed at helping localities hold successful drug take-back events on their own.

Learn about Hosting a Successful Prescription Drug Take-Back Event.

Safe Disposal Sites for Unused Medication

Tips for Eating Healthy When Eating out

  • As a beverage choice, ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.
  • Ask for whole-wheat bread for sandwiches.
  • In a restaurant, start your meal with a salad packed with veggies, to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner.
  • Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Then use only as much as you want.
  • Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with a tomato sauce.
  • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
  • Choose a small” or “medium” portion. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages.
  • Order an item from the menu instead heading for the “all-you-can-eat” buffet.
  • If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, try one of these strategies to keep from overeating:
    • Order an appetizer-sized portion or a side dish instead of an entrée.
    • Share a main dish with a friend.
    • If you can chill the extra food right away, take leftovers home in a “doggy bag.”
    • When your food is delivered, set aside or pack half of it to go immediately.
    • Resign from the “clean your plate club” – when you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest.
  • To keep your meal moderate in calories, fat, and sugars:
    • Ask for salad dressing to be served “on the side” so you can add only as much as you want.
    • Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies
    • Add little or no butter to your food.
    • Choose fruits for dessert most often.
  • On long commutes or shopping trips, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for sweet or fatty snacks.

Source: USDA Choose My Plate –

Protect You and Your Family from Food borne Illness

Federal health officials estimate that nearly 48 million people are sickened by food contaminated with harmful germs each year. Many people don’t realize that produce can also be the culprit in outbreaks of food borne illness.

FDA says to choose produce that isn’t bruised or damaged, and make sure that pre-cut items—such as bags of lettuce or watermelon slices—are either refrigerated or on ice both in the store and at home.

In addition, follow these recommendations:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  • Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
  • Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a produce wash.
  • Wash produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.
  • Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
  • Throw away the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.
  • Store perishable produce in the refrigerator at 40 degrees or below.

From the US HHS website


Of course, when facing a major storm or hurricane, your first priorities are to assure the safety of your family.  Included in those priorities are concerns about safe drinking water and proper sewage disposal.  Below are some concerns about private wells and onsite sewage systems when Virginia faces major storms or flooding followed by links to other sources of information.  If you have specific questions before or after the storm, call your local health department.  While the emergency is in progress, Virginia Department of Health personnel will be working in Emergency Operation Centers at state and local levels.

Power outages

Power outages can cause problems for homeowners with wells and/or certain onsite sewage systems.  If your home is served by a well, the well pump will not work when the power goes out.  Keep sufficient potable water on hand for drinking and cooking.  Toilets can be flushed by pouring a bucketful of water either into the tank and using the handle, or by pouring a bucketful into the bowl.  Many well pumps operate on a 240 volt circuit, so if you plan to use a generator to run your well pump during a power outage, have the connections established by a licensed electrician.  Remember – water and electricity are very dangerous together!

Some onsite sewage systems may also fail to operate properly during a power outage.  The pump won’t work without power in systems with pumps, but most onsite sewage systems with a pump should have 100-200 gallons storage capacity above the high level alarm.  Exceeding this storage capacity could cause the pump chamber to overflow, spilling raw sewage on the ground.  Use water sparingly.

Many alternative systems also have electrical components such as aerators, flow control switches and other equipment.  Many alternative systems also include a pump and therefore should have a limited amount of storage capacity as noted above.  Alternative system owners should call their licensed Alternative Onsite Sewage System Operator as soon as possible once the power returns if some components do not seem to be functioning properly.


People who rely on private wells for their water should consider their well contaminated if it was submerged or they believe it is possible the well became submerged during the hurricane.

If the well was flooded and underwater, do not turn on the pump until you are sure the electrical system is completely dried out.  See the EPA link below – What to do After the Flood.  Consider a well that has been submerged  contaminated and disinfect the well and the water system using this procedure once you are sure the electrical system is safe:  The water should not be consumed until bacteriological testing indicates the well is not contaminated. Two satisfactory bacteriological tests performed on samples taken at least 24 hours apart will indicate your water supply has been properly disinfected.  Labs certified to test drinking water are available at this website:

If you are unsure if the well was flooded, assume that it was and use another water source until the the water supply is disinfected.

A satisfactory water test following disinfection indicates that the water supply has been disinfected initially.  The second water test, taken at least 24 hours later, indicates that there is no ongoing contamination of the water supply.  Be sure to follow the instructions from the lab carefully when collecting your water samples.  Exposing the water or container to a source of bacteriological contamination (fingers, breath, etc.) could give a false positive result.

Onsite Sewage Systems

For any type of onsite sewage system, conventional or alternative, a hurricane or flood could submerge the system, causing a backup of sewage into the house.  Look for sewage backups in the plumbing fixtures at the lowest elevations in your house. The wax seal between the toilet and the floor and the first floor or basement bathtub.  Wear gloves and other protective gear when cleaning up sewage.
Flooding can wash soil away from the septic tank, drainfield lines or other components, causing damage to the components or introducing raw or partially treated sewage into the yard.  Flooding may also just cause the onsite sewage system to operate sluggishly because the soil in the dispersal area is saturated, preventing effluent from the tank from seeping into the ground.  Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, left Virginia with acres of fallen trees from high winds combined with saturated soil.  Some homeowners found that the roots of falling trees pulled up some shallow drainfield lines and damaged some other components such as septic tanks and distribution boxes.

If your septic tank/drainfield system is damaged by the storm or if the soil is saturated, minimize water use within the house to prevent raw sewage from discharging to the ground surface.  Minimize contact with sewage contaminated waters.  Use gloves and protective gear and wash any exposed skin with soap and water as soon as possible.  Disinfect any exposed human contact surfaces with diluted bleach water.

Following the storm, saturated soils should begin to drain and restore function to many sluggish systems.  If your system has been damaged or remains sluggish, you will need to complete an application to repair your damaged system with the local health department or contact your Alternative Onsite Sewage System Operator to inspect your alternative system.

Here are some links you may find helpful:

Fitness for less: Low-cost ways to shape up

Want to work out but think you can’t afford it? Think again. Consider these low-cost alternatives to a pricey gym membership.
By Mayo Clinic staff

If the only thing keeping you from starting a fitness program is the cost of a gym membership, here’s good news. You don’t need to join a gym to take physical activity seriously. Plenty of low-cost alternatives can help you get fit without breaking your budget. These tips can help you get started.
Take advantage of everyday opportunities

You don’t need a gym or special equipment for an aerobic workout. With a little foresight, activities you may take for granted can become part of your fitness routine.

Step it up. Take a brisk walk every day, whether it’s in your neighborhood or a local mall. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or make a full workout of climbing the stairs. Sneak in extra steps whenever you can by parking farther away from your destination.

Make housework a workout. Mow the lawn, weed the garden, rake the leaves or shovel the snow. Even indoor activities such as vacuuming and scrubbing count as a workout if you increase your heart rate.

Play with your kids. If you have children, don’t just watch them play. Join them for a game of tag or kickball. Walk them to the park. Dance. Take a family bike ride. Go to a community pool. Even if you don’t swim, you can enjoy time in the water or walk in the shallow end. Do your kids play video games? If so, plug in with them and swing a virtual tennis racket or do a little boxing.

Improvise with household items

If you’d rather not spend a penny on exercise equipment, use ordinary household items for various upper and lower body exercises:
Canned goods. Many canned goods can serve double duty as hand weights.

Chair or step stool. Use a chair for support when doing exercises such as leg curls. A low, sturdy step stool can become exercise equipment if you use it for step training — an aerobic exercise resembling stair climbing.

Consider a modest investment
If you’re able to spend a little, you can find inexpensive products to add variety to your fitness routine:

Dumbbells. Use these small, hand-held weights to strengthen your upper body. They’re available in many sizes.

Exercise DVDs and apps. Create the feel of a health club aerobics class in your own living room — or choose a program that’ll help you improve your strength and flexibility.

Fitness ball. A fitness ball looks like a large beach ball. You can do many core exercises, including abdominal crunches, with a fitness ball. You can also use a fitness ball to improve your flexibility and balance.

Jump-ropes. Skipping rope can be a great cardiovascular workout.

Resistance tubing. These stretchy tubes offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them. Use the tubes to build strength in your arms and other muscles. Choose from varying degrees of resistance, depending on your fitness level.

Be a savvy shopper
If you’re interested in a specific exercise class or piece of equipment, shop around to find the best deal.

Check out your local recreation department. Many recreation departments offer discounted fitness classes to local residents. If you live near a high school or college with a fitness center, ask if the facility is available to community members.

Buy used equipment. Some sporting goods stores specialize in used equipment — or you can check out listings for exercise equipment in the local newspaper. You may also find great deals on used exercise equipment online. Just make sure the cost of shipping won’t put the item out of your budget.

Share costs with a friend. Trade exercise videos or DVDs with a friend so that neither of you gets bored doing the same workout over and over again. Find a personal trainer who’ll let you share the cost of a session with a friend or two.

Remember, getting in shape doesn’t need to be expensive. Don’t get caught up in memberships or purchases you can’t afford. Instead, concentrate on your fitness goals — and how to achieve them without breaking your budget.

“Above all do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday I walk myself into a state of well being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill … if one keeps on walking everything will be alright.”
– Soren Kierkegaard
Get up, get out and go for a walk!

Infectious diseases remain one of the greatest threats to public health in the United States and across the world. Despite key advances in medicine and science, infectious diseases still rank among the greatest causes for illness, disability, and death. The burden of infectious diseases is both a national and global challenge to population health.

A quote from the committee that developed the Healthy People 2020 measures. This demonstrates how important Prince William Health District’s communicable disease and immunization program is to protect the health of the community.