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Genesee County Health Department

GC Health Department seeks help to find dog and owner

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Health Department is seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner(s) following a dog bite incident on Friday, Feb. 2, at 8:30 a.m. 

The incident occurred in a yard on Swamp Road near Jericho Road in Bergen. This dog has also been observed in that general area multiple times.

The dog was described as a black, lab/lab mix with a collar. The victim described the dog as well-groomed.

The health department is trying to avoid unnecessary medical treatment for the victim, so it is important to locate the dog to determine whether or not it is current on its rabies vaccination. If the vaccination status of the dog cannot be identified, post-exposure rabies shots will be recommended to the victim.

If you have information about the location of the dog and its owner(s), please contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

GC Health Department offers rabies clinic Feb. 8

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting its first rabies immunization clinic of the year at no charge to participants on Thursday, Feb. 8 from 4 - 6 p.m. at the Batavia Town Highway Garage (3833 West Main Street Road, Batavia). 

Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per person maximum.

“We encourage all residents to take advantage of our first rabies immunization clinic of 2024 and ensure their pets are protected against rabies,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health).

“Rabies continues to be a serious public health concern in Genesee and Orleans Counties and is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Please leave wildlife alone and do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals, stray dogs, or cats.”

The next rabies immunization clinics are as follows: 

Genesee County Clinics at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 East Main Street, Batavia)

  • Thursday, May 16 from 4 - 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 8 from 4 - 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 10 from 4 - 6 p.m.

Orleans County Clinics at the Orleans County Fairgrounds (12690 State Route 31, Albion)

  • Saturday, April 13 from 9 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, June 5 from 4 - 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 10 from 9 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 19 from 9 - 11:30 a.m.

For more information on GO Health’s programs and services, visit GOHealthNY.org. You can also contact the health department at:

  • Genesee County 585-344-2580 x5555 or Health@co.genesee.ny.us
  • Orleans County 585-589-3278 or OCPublicHealth@orleanscountyny.gov

GO Health hosting Early Intervention Quarterly Meeting

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) will be holding their Local Early Intervention Coordinating Council (LEICC) Quarterly Meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 4 - 5 p.m. at the Genesee County Health Department (3837 W. Main Street Road Batavia) or by zoom.

During the meeting, advocacy will be discussed and the election of officers will take place. Refreshments will be provided. 

The LEICC is a supportive group made up of county officials, Early Intervention providers, childcare providers, parents of children with disabilities, and other community members. The members of the council are encouraged to collaborate and voice their opinions to help raise concerns to better the program, and ultimately, help the children. 

The goal of the LEICC is to afford the opportunity for parents and other members to voice their thoughts and concerns on the strengths and weaknesses of the Genesee and Orleans County Early Intervention Program and to work together to improve the program. The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are encouraging parents to attend and to offer input as to how we can best meet the needs of all infants and toddlers.

For Zoom connection information or for more information on the meeting, please contact Sarah Kathryn McLaughlin, Early Intervention Service Coordinator for Genesee County, at 585-344-2580 ext. 5503 or 585-589-3147.

GO Health offers lead mitigation program for property owners

By Press Release

Press Release:

Lead is a metal that is toxic to our bodies. Young children under 6 years old are most at risk for lead poisoning because their bodies are rapidly developing. A child with lead poisoning can experience learning difficulties, lower IQ, difficulty paying attention, organ damage, and anemia. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

“Lead poisoning is preventable,” stated Gabrielle Lanich, Lead Program Coordinator of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “It is important to stop children from coming in contact with lead hazards before poisoning occurs.” 

The Genesee County Health Department has expanded its Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Grant, funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to include Livingston and Wyoming Counties. The grant now includes Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties.

The Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (HUD) Grant addresses lead-based paint hazards, as well as certain health concerns, in homes and apartments in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming (GLOW) Counties. In order to be eligible for these funds, homeowners and property owners must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Tenants or homeowners who are income eligible (limited funds for vacant units, call for more information)
  • The building was built prior to 1978 
  • At least one child under the age of 6 living in the home or visiting 8 or more hours a week, or a pregnant female
  • Lead-based paint hazards in the home
  • Current on tax and mortgage payments
  • Other requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis

Rental property owners are also required to match 10% of the total project costs. For example, a rental property owner would be required to pay $2,000 for a $20,000 project.

Rental properties must have 4 units or less. All recipients are required to maintain ownership of the residence for 5 years after the project is completed. Applications can be obtained by contacting our lead program staff or found on the GO Health website. 

Possible contracted work may include:

  • Painting
  • Window replacement
  • Entry door replacement
  • Porch repair or replacement
  • Bare soil treatment/landscaping
  • Other general repairs

All work is completed by pre-approved local contractors trained and EPA-certified in lead-safe work practices. If you would like to be added to our list of contractors, please contact the Genesee County Health Department.

Our GLOW Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) team collaborates with HUD to offer education on preventing lead poisoning and how to renovate safely. If you have any lead-related questions, contact the GLOW CLPPP team. 

For more information, help determining eligibility, or to be added to our list of contractors, contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 or Health.GOlead@co.genesee.ny.us. You can also visit GOHealthNY.org for an application.

GO health gives reminder about removing lead-based paint

By Press Release

Press Release:

With the warmer weather here, more home renovation projects are starting. If you have a home built before 1978, it is important to make sure renovations are done safely. 

Homes built before 1978 are more likely to have lead-based paint that can be disturbed when renovating. Renovations can put lead dust into the air as well as into the heating and cooling systems of homes with lead-based paint.

Children (and adults) exposed to this lead dust are at risk of lead poisoning. There is no safe level of lead to have in the body. The effects of lead poisoning are permanent and can affect a child into adulthood. 

“Lead poisoning can affect anyone, but is especially dangerous for infants and small children,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). 

“Childhood lead poisoning can harm the brain and nervous system leading to learning challenges, lower IQ, difficulty in paying attention/hyperactivity, kidney damage, and very high levels can be fatal. Lead poisoning can also be dangerous for pregnant women because lead can pass to the baby during pregnancy.”

While thinking about renovation plans for this summer, consider using a lead-safe certified contractor if you live in a home built before 1978. If planning to do the work yourself, here are some simple steps you can take to keep both you and your family safe.

  1. Set up safely in a way that should prevent dust from escaping the work area and keep anyone not working on the project from entering. This can include removing all furniture, rugs, curtains, and other household items, tightly wrapping items that cannot be removed with plastic sheeting, covering floors with plastic sheeting, closing and sealing all doors, turning off forced-air heating and
    air conditioning systems, and covering vents with sheeting. All sheeting should be taped in place to ensure it is secure.
  2. Protect yourself. Wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when working, wash your hands and face every time you stop working, wash your work clothes separately from the rest of your family’s laundry, and do not eat, drink, or smoke in your work area. Dust and debris can contaminate food or other items and cause you to ingest dangerous lead dust.
  3. Minimize Dust. Many renovation tasks (drilling, cutting, opening walls, etc.) create dust that may contain lead. Using proper tools and simple practices can help limit and control dust. 
  4. Clean your work area at the end of every day. This helps minimize dust and protects you and your family. Easy ways to keep your work area clean include; putting trash in heavy-duty bags as you work, vacuuming with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) cleaner frequently, cleaning tools daily, disposing of or cleaning PPE, and keeping non-workers out of the work area.
  5. Control Waste. Collect all waste and secure it tightly with duct tape or a double bag to prevent lead dust or debris from escaping before disposal.
  6. Clean again. When your renovations are complete and before using the room again, use wet-cleaning methods in order to control the dust and prevent the dust from going back into the air. Make sure to mop uncarpeted floors thoroughly, clean walls with a HEPA vacuum or damp cloth, thoroughly vacuum all remaining surfaces and objects with a HEPA vacuum, and then wipe down all surfaces with wet cloths until the cloths are clean.

For any questions and more information on GO Health Lead Programs, contact the Genesee County Health Department at (585) 344-2580 ext. 5555 or Health.GOlead@co.genesee.ny.us. You can also visit the GO Health website at www.GOHealthNY.org.

GO Health warns of dangers of radon in homes, encourages testing

By Press Release

Press Release:

You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. But breathing in high levels of radon can increase your risk of lung cancer even if you don’t smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and it is estimated to cause over 20,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is the reason it is so important to get your home tested for radon.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that seeps into your home through cracks in the foundation, walls and joints. It can be found in well water and in dirt floors. Whether your home has a basement, sits on a slab, is brand-new or old, radon can build-up and go undetected. 

Testing your home with a short term radon test kit is a quick and easy way to determine if there are high levels of radon in your home. The Genesee County Health Department has a limited number of short term test kits available free of charge for Genesee County residents. These test kits are easy and quick to use.

“Testing for radon is one of the easiest preventative health measures you can take,” stated Darren Brodie, Environmental Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “If your radon levels are low, we suggest you test every couple of years. If your radon levels are high, we can give you information about how to mitigate the radon. Either way, you have made an important step to keep your family safe.”

For more information about radon and how to receive a free radon test kit in Genesee County, contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 x5555 or Health@co.genesee.ny.us.

GO Health announces Asthma Awareness Month

By Press Release

Press Release:

Did you know that May is Asthma Awareness Month? Asthma is a medical condition that affects the airways in our lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 8 people will be diagnosed with asthma during their lifetime. Symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing.

Additionally, symptoms may get worse at night and wake the person up.

From 2018 to 2020, residents of the City and Town of Batavia went to an emergency department for asthma symptoms 169 times, according to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Asthma Dashboard. This was almost half of the emergency visits for asthma in all of Genesee County. The medical cost of these trips can be expensive, but family members also lose money from missed time at work and school and the cost of transportation. The medical and indirect costs can be thousands of dollars each year for a person with asthma, according to the CDC AsthmaStats. However, there are ways to control asthma symptoms and reduce these costs. People with well-controlled asthma are less likely to have attacks that need emergency treatment. Asthma may be controlled by:

  • Taking a daily controller medication
  • Avoiding triggers such as mold, dust, cigarette smoke, or scented products
  • Using an inhaler before exercising

It is important to pay attention to the warning signs of an asthma attack. These include a runny or stuffy nose, increased mucus, an itchy neck or chin, and feeling tired. Children may say their tummy hurts, have dark circles under their eyes, seem more tired or irritable than normal, and have pale skin or red cheeks. Many people with asthma will be prescribed both a daily medicine and a quick-relief medicine to use during an asthma attack. It is important to talk to your primary care provider (PCP) about when to take medications and to create an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan is a written plan that lists steps to take during an asthma attack. The plan notes what symptoms trigger using a quick-relief medicine and how long to wait before taking an extra dose or trying another medication to stop the attack. It lists when to call your PCP and when to seek emergency care.

The Genesee County Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) offers free home assessments to residents of the City and Town of Batavia. These assessments look for conditions that could worsen asthma, along with other safety risks in the home. Participants who have been diagnosed with asthma receive education on asthma symptoms and triggers. For more information on the Healthy Neighborhoods Program, call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 or visit www.GOHealthNY.org.

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