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Health Department Warns of Extreme Heat, Offers Safety Tips

Bottle of waterA heat advisory is in effect for our area today with temperatures ranging from 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. These extreme temperatures can be dangerous to health.

“Heat stroke and other heat – related illnesses can cause serious health problems,” cautions Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director, “especially for the elderly, infants and young children, people with respiratory ailments or chronic medical conditions and anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. It is important to take precautions.” Read the full press release for tips and precautions.

Health Department Reminds Public to Avoid Interaction with Wildlife

Graphic -- Help Fight RabiesA bat, a woodchuck, and two foxes captured in Tompkins County were determined to be rabid by the New York State Rabies Laboratory during the month of May. Rabies is normally transmitted by the bite of a wild or domestic rabid mammal. Exposures can also occur if saliva from a rabid animal enters the body through a wound that bled within 24 hours prior to the exposure, through an older wound showing signs of an infection, or through contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Spring is a time when it is common to see wildlife searching for food for themselves and their offspring. Sightings during the day are not unusual or necessarily a sign of disease however the public is encouraged to avoid contact with wildlife. Keep garbage in containers with lids, avoid leaving pet food outside, and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator before handling any injured or potentially abandoned wildlife. Read the full press release for additional information, links, and precautions.

Tick-Borne Infections — Take Steps to Prevent Them

Spring is here and so are the ticks! It’s time to get outside and enjoy the season. It’s also time to take steps to prevent tick-borne infection.

While Lyme disease is the most commonly reported, new tick-borne infections have been discovered in recent years and are steadily increasing. Most can be successfully treated with antibiotics, especially if medication is started early.

Preventing tick bites is your best defense against tick-borne infection. Ticks may be different sizes depending on their stage of life. Nymphs, which are very active in spring, are about the size of a poppy seed, making them hard to spot. Ticks live in shaded, moist areas at ground level. They cling to tall grass, brush, and shrubs, at the edge of woods, along trails, in leaf piles and around old stone walls, waiting for a passerby to come along so they can climb aboard.

Click here for the full press release, including important prevention tips.

Gov. Cuomo Announces Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Control Plan

Well Water Assistance Available to Tompkins Residents

Tompkins County residents in need of a new well or rehabilitation of an existing well are encouraged to apply for low-interest loans through the Water Well Trust, a non-profit organization based in North Carolina that is dedicated to ensuring that people have access to safe drinking water.

Applications from Tompkins County are being accepted until September 30, 2018. Priority is given to owner-occupied households where health risks are imminent, to those with minorities, elderly, children, or to disabled persons, including disabled veterans. More information and the application can be found at (Full press release.)

Health Department Awarded Grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

A Member and Community Health Improvement grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to improve childhood lead testing rates for the years 2018-2020 was recently awarded to the TCHD. “The grant funds will be used to purchase lead testing equipment for six local provider offices, so that lead testing is available at the same time as the child’s appointment,” states Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director. Click here for the full press release.

Opioid Resource

Opioid Resource graphic logoA NEW Opioid Resource page has been posted to the TCHD website. The intent is for this page to be a portal for information and services related to the opioid crisis within Tompkins County. The page is evolving, and comments related to its content are welcomed.

To visit the page, click here.

Tompkins County Health Department Reports an Increase in Pertussis

Chart of pertussis cases 2002 to 2017Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease spread person to person through coughs or sneezes. Pertussis can affect anyone at any age, but it is particularly harmful to infants who are too young to be vaccinated.

If you or your child has a persistent cough, call your doctor to determine if an evaluation is necessary. Click here for more about symptoms, complications, and precautions in the full press release.

Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall

Approximately 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers have been recalled nationwide, affecting products manufactured from 1973 until 2017. Participants of the Healthy Neighborhoods Program in Tompkins County may have received one of these recalled fire extinguishers during a home visit. It is important to check your fire extinguisher and to call Kidde if you believe you have a recalled model. The Healthy Neighborhoods Program distributes about 300 fire extinguishers per year.

To determine if your fire extinguisher has been recalled, call Kidde directly at their toll-free number 855-271-0773 or online at and click “Product Safety Recall.” Full TCHD press release.

Free Lead Testing Pilot Program:
$1.5 Million State Program to Test Residential Drinking Water

The NYSDOH is launching a pilot program to test for lead in drinking water. The free program is available to residents that are served by either a private well or public water system, allowing everyone to have access to lead testing. The program will continue as long as funds are available.

Residents who are interested having their tap water tested are encouraged to sign up on the NYSDOH website, or by calling the Bureau of Water Supply Protection at 518-402-7650. For more information about this program, read the full press release here. For more information about lead poisoning prevention, click here.


Three words that everyone who is sexually active should know, to protect your health and prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)!

    1. Talk to your partner before you have sex.
    2. Get Tested!
    3. If you test positive for an STI, Get Treated

Want to learn more about STIs and the Talk-Test-Treat campaign? Click right here, right now!

Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV

Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medicine taken daily that can be used to prevent getting HIV. PrEP is for people without HIV who are at very high risk for getting it from sex or injection drug use. Click here for more information.

Vaccines Save Lives

Flu vaccinations: Everyone, Every Year!

The Health Department recommends a flu shot for everyone, every year. Visit our Seasonal Flu page for more info.

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NOTICEThe Tompkins County Health Department makes every effort to post accurate and reliable information. However, it does not guarantee or warrant that the information on this website is complete, accurate, or up-to-date. Tompkins County shall not be liable under any circumstances for any claims or damages arising directly or indirectly from information presented therein. Please contact the program area by phone or the receptionist at 274-6600 for more information.


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