FROM LOCAL SOURCES
JASPER -- The Dubois County Health Department will be closed later this month for an emergency training session.
The department will close its doors on January 30th from 8 a.m. until noon so staff can participate in the training.
They’ll practice setting up a “Mass Point of Dispensing” location which would provide medication in the event of an outbreak or attack of an agent. The drill is a requirement as part of a local grant awarded by the Division of Emergency Preparedness division of the State Department of Health.
A POD’s sole purpose is to distribute medication in order to prevent illness. PODs are not treatment sites. If there were an outbreak, residents that were exposed or found to be at risk of exposure to the identified agent would come to the POD to receive medication that would be funded by the ISDH and at no charge to the participant. Anyone who would be experiencing symptoms from the identified agent should contact their family physician or go to the hospital or other treatment location for treatment. Those actively experiencing symptoms would not receive the medication that would be dispensed as a prevention measure.
During the exercise, staff will respond to a made-up scenario of a Hepatitis A exposure at a popular buffet-style restaurant. In the made-up scenario, the supposed worker handled food while ill and prepared food for consumption by customers on 1/18/20 and 1/19/20. Therefore, a POD will be set up on Jan 30th from 9 AM – 12 Noon. This vaccination clinic scenario will be scheduled at the Jasper Middle School. The staff of the Local Health Department each are assigned a role to help with the setup of the POD exercise.
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 eyes or skin may also appear. People can become ill up to 7 weeks after being exposed to the virus. In 2019, Several Counties throughout the State of Indiana had experienced outbreaks of this nature and have had to set up PODs to prevent the spread of this communicable disease. Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease. Indiana law has required a hepatitis A vaccine for school admission since 2014, and the vaccine is required for students entering 6th and 12th grades in 2018, so many students have already been vaccinated.