Important Notices

Local Health Alert System

As public health issues (such as disease outbreaks) emerge which may impact care of patients in this county, the St. Mary’s County Health Department will send out communications to health care providers who have provided contact information for the SMC local health alert system. Periodic updates via email may also be sent notifying providers of new resources or health department programs which will assist them in caring for their patients.

The primary way SMCHD will contact health care providers is by email. Providers can subscribe to this notification system by clicking here.

Text messages and faxes also can be sent in the case of public health emergencies. If you would like to be contacted through one or both of these methods in addition to the email subscription, please submit your information and your preferred way of communication by one of the following:

  • Email: smchd.healthprovider@maryland.gov
  • Fax: 301-475-4350
  • Mail: St. Mary’s County Health Department (ATTN: Local Health Alert System), P.O. Box 316, Leonardtown, MD 20650

Health Notices

  • (9-16-14) – Enterovirus D68 Symptoms, Testing, Treatment and Prevention:  Although no cases have yet been identified in Maryland, it is expected that enteroviruses, including EV-D68, will be circulating this fall.
    • Surveillance and Notification: Report Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) among children 18 years or less admitted to Maryland hospital intensive care units to the St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330. Suspected clusters or outbreaks should be reported to the St. Mary’s County Health Department.
    • Testing: Test for more common respiratory pathogens first. Specimens can be tested for enterovirus at commercial or clinical diagnostic laboratories. Contact the St. Mary’s County Health Department for consideration of more specific testing at public health laboratories among those involved in a respiratory outbreak or among children with severe acute respiratory illness admitted to intensive care units. Testing at public health laboratories is not available for diagnostic purposes.
    • Click here for more information about Enterovirus D68.
  • (9/17/14) – Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Ebola Virus Disease – General Information
  • New Maryland immunization requirements for public school students: The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently revised vaccine requirements for children in Maryland public schools as detailed below. Click here for more information.
    • Kindergarteners must show proof of a second dose of varicella vaccine, which protects against chicken pox.
    • 7th Graders must also show proof of Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis and a dose of MCV4 (meningitis) vaccine.
    • Children without required immunizations can be excluded from school.
  • New CDC Prophylaxis Guidelines for Pertussis: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise prescribing antimicrobial prophylaxis to all asymptomatic household contacts of a pertussis case within 21 days of cough onset in the index case. Click here for more information. 
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV): The St. Mary’s County Health Department continues to monitor the latest international trends regarding MERS CoV, a novel coronavirus associated with extremely high mortality rates. The Health Department requests that any suspected cases of MERS CoV be immediately reported to public health officials. Through the local health alert system, the health department will continually apprise local health care providers of potential public health threats here in the US associated with this coronavirus strain. Click here for case definitions and to learn more about MERS CoV