Riley County Health Department's disease surveillance, investigation and control activities are not limited to only infectious diseases. Health department staff investigate and educate about non-communicable diseases including rabies, elevated blood lead, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system in mammals, including dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep and ferrets. Rabies, although rare in humans, is almost always fatal. Humans who may have been exposed to a rabid animal must receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), if health officials determine it is necessary. PEP is a series of 5 vaccinations. The RCHD Rabies Fact Sheet (pdf), Rabies Quarantine brochure (pdf), and the KDHE Rabies Prevention and Control Measures page have more information on rabies. Testing for rabies is done through the Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory
Determining Potential Exposure
As a part of planning and mitigation efforts, RCHD and Animal Control collaborated to create the Riley County Rabies Exposure Control Plan, part of that plan includes algorithms to determine potential exposure to rabies. Click on the links below to aid in determine potential exposure to rabies based on the situation.
Rabies is a Reportable Disease
Potential human exposure to rabies is a 4-hour reportable disease in the state of Kansas. This means, that any potential human exposure to rabies must be reported to public health authorities within four hours of exposure.
To report diseases, contact the health department's 24/7 number for notifiable/reportable disease and public health emergencies: 785-317-0471 or the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline: 1-877-427-7317
Elevated Blood Lead Levels
Lead is a naturally occurring metal found throughout the environment, including in dirt.
The most common source of exposure to lead in children is lead-based paint. Older homes (built before 1978), along with old pipes, lead pellets from guns, some imported cosmetics, and some imported pottery are all potential sources for lead exposure.
Most adult exposures to lead are work-related. The most common routes of exposure to lead are through ingestion and inhalation. Elevated blood lead levels have negative impacts on both children and adults.
For more detailed information on blood lead, including ways to reduce the risk of exposure, materials for clinicians and parents, visit the CDC Lead Poisoning Prevention Page
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas created as a byproduct of fossil fuel burning (gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, oil, and methane). In the home, heating and cooking equipment can produce carbon monoxide. Suspected cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are being investigated by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) staff. Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning include fatigue, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
The Office of the State Fire Marshall has a program, Get Alarmed KS, to educate and install smoke alarms in people's homes.