Queen Village Rats

James Garrow, a spokesperson for the city’s Health Department, said Vector Control is working to abate the Queen Village infestation. He said construction in the area seems to have exacerbated the problem. The city is also continuing to treat Lawncrest, where Garrow said treatment is “working and [Vector Control] will continue to follow up until the problem is solved.”

Garrow said removing trash and potential rodent shelters (think: tall grasses, creeping vines) are the two biggest steps communities can take to reduce a rat problem. Gardens with crops are another food source, he said — so be sure to pick your vegetables as soon as they’re ripe.

“If you can get rid of the food and lack of shelter, [rats will] generally move,” Garrow said.

https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/08/09/queen-village-rat-infestation/

By Claire Sasko

Fountain Swimming

While it may be fun, swimming in a public fountain presents a health risk, the city’s Public Health Department said. The water undergoes vigorous treatment, the same as drinking water, but once in the fountain, “it’s essentially like a pool, but without all of the treatment chemicals to make it safe.” The department discourages swimming in fountains.

Cryptosporidium and giardia are two main illnesses of concern, according to Health Department spokesperson James Garrow, as they are the “most common causes of recreational water illness” in the country. Both are spread by swallowing contaminated water and cause diarrhea.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/curious-philly-swann-memorial-fountain-logan-square-swimming-20190801.html

By TyLisa C. Johnson and Lucia Geng

Hepatitis A Public Health Emergency Declaration

Release

Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, declared that the ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A in Philadelphia is a public health emergency and has directed health care providers and governmental and non-governmental agencies to help vaccinate those most at risk for the infection in order to stop the outbreak. As part of the Philadelphia Resilience Project, the City of Philadelphia will be expanding its own outreach to vaccinate homeless persons and others at greatest risk.

https://mailchi.mp/phila.gov/philadelphia-health-commissioner-declares-public-health-emergency-for-outbreak-of-hepatitis-a-virus

Philly Voice

Philadelphia officials have declared a public health emergency over an outbreak of Hepatitis A that has become a growing concern in 2019.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced the public health emergency Thursday afternoon, directing health care providers and agencies to vaccinate those at the highest risk of infection.

https://www.phillyvoice.com/hepatitis-a-philadelphia-emergency-public-health-outbreak-vaccine/

By Michael Tanenbaum

KYW

“It’ll make it easier for us to mobilize doctors and other medical providers to offer vaccination to people when they come in contact with the medical system,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, “and for us to use our resources to vaccinate people who may not come in contact with a medical system, such as people living on the street.”

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/philly-health-officials-declare-public-emergency-over-hepatitis-outbreak

By Andrew Kramer

Fox29

The health department says the city usually sees between two to six cases of Hepatitis A per year. Since January, the department has been notified of 154 cases.

https://www.fox29.com/news/public-health-emergency-declared-in-philadelphia-over-hepatitis-a-outbreak

By Jeff Cole

Patch

Since July 2018, the Health Department has coordinated the vaccination of 1,775 people considered at-risk, and reports that more than 12,439 total Hepatitis A vaccinations have been given in the city.

Because these efforts have not been sufficient to end the outbreak, the Health Department is mobilizing with this declaration of emergency to vaccinate tens of thousands of additional at-risk folks.

https://patch.com/pennsylvania/chestnuthill/health-emergency-declared-philly-due-hepatitis-outbreak

By Max Bennett

CBS3

Philadelphia has declared a public health emergency as hepatitis A cases continue to skyrocket. A major source of the problem is human feces on city streets.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/08/01/philadelphia-declares-public-health-emergency-for-hepatitis-a-outbreak-kensington/

By Staff

CNN

“While there’s not an exact cause that we can pinpoint, Philadelphia had been in the grip of the opioid crisis, which the Health Commissioner had called the worst epidemic here in more than a century,” James Garrow, spokesman for Philadelphia Department of Public Health, told CNN in an email.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/health/philadelphia-hepatitis-a-epidemic/index.html

By Susan Scutti

6ABC 1

“We don’t want anyone to contract Hepatitis A, and we have the ability to stop this outbreak. Now that we have a safe and effective vaccine, the most important action we can take is for everyone at high risk to be vaccinated,” Dr. Thomas Farley, health commissioner in Philadelphia.

https://6abc.com/health/hepatitis-a-outbreak-public-health-emergency-declared-in-philly-/5435844/

By Christie Ileto

AP

Officials in Philadelphia have declared a public health emergency due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A.

Health care providers have been directed to help vaccinate those most at risk for infection to stop the outbreak.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/08/philadelphia-declares-public-health-emergency-over-hepatitis-a-outbreak.html

By Staff

Inquirer

In light of that, the city stepped up vaccinations last year. But it wasn’t enough. In its emergency declaration, the city encouraged health-care providers to begin offering hepatitis A vaccines to groups at risk of contracting the disease. The city Public Health Department has vaccinated 1,775 people since last July, and more than 12,000 people have been vaccinated in Philadelphia as a whole in that time period.

“One of the key purposes of the declaration is to mobilize the medical community,” Farley said. “We’re optimistic we can contain it if we vaccinate people at risk.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/hepatitis-a-outbreak-emergency-philadelphia-20190801.html

By Aubrey Whelan

WHYY

The city is calling on health care providers, as well as government and non-government agencies, to help vaccinate residents with the “greatest risk” of contracting the liver disease — including drug users, homeless people, and recently released inmates.

Those who have had close contact with them should also be vaccinated, said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

https://whyy.org/articles/philly-declares-public-health-emergency-as-hepatitis-a-infections-surge/

By Aaron Moselle

US News and World Report

Officials in Philadelphia have confirmed 154 hepatitis A cases so far this year, with the “vast majority” occurring since May, according to the emergency declaration from Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. The city, which typically sees two to nine reports of hepatitis Aper year, is investigating other potential cases as well.

https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2019-08-02/hepatitis-a-sparks-public-health-emergencies-in-florida-philadelphia

By Gabby Galvin

6ABC 2

Health officials in Philadelphia continue efforts to control an outbreak of Hepatitis A. Free vaccinations were offered to people in Kensington on Tuesday.
A little pinch for protection.

Outside the McPherson Square Library, workers from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health were set up to offer free Hepatitis A vaccinations.

https://6abc.com/health/health-department-offers-free-hepatitis-a-vaccines-following-outbreak/5447602/

By Staff

KYW 2

Health officials in Philadelphia have declared a public health emergency over the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak. Health Commissioner Thomas Farley explains what exactly the virus is and what the symptoms are.

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/media/audio-channel/what-hepatitis-health-commissioner-explains-wake-emergency-declaration

By Staff

HF Monitor at PES Refinery

Inquirer

The city’s health department downplayed the incident Wednesday, saying its Air Management Services (AMS) inspectors suspected the gas meter was not properly calibrated, and requested that the refinery and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency double-check the tests.

“Both confirmed that there was no HF present in the air,” James Garrow, the health department spokesperson, said in an email. “The AMS inspectors took the improperly calibrated meter out of service.”

https://www.inquirer.com/business/energy/philadelphia-refinery-fire-pes-air-monitoring-senate-hearing-20190724.html

By Andrew Maykuth

WHYY

Garrow conceded, however, that one of the city’s meters, which was being used to confirm PES’s own zero readings, had not been functioning properly.

“[Air Monitoring Service] inspectors tested for the presence of HF to confirm the zero readings reported by PES,” Garrow said. “Due to the meter not being properly calibrated, the inspectors requested that the EPA and PES confirm the zero readings. Both confirmed that there was no HF present in the air. The AMS inspectors took the improperly calibrated meter out of service.”

https://whyy.org/articles/pes-refinery-fire-highlights-need-for-better-air-monitoring-experts-tell-pa-lawmakers/

By Dana Bate

Hahnemann Closure Effect on Other Hospitals

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley and city leaders are meeting regularly with the hospitals affected by Hahnemann’s closure, said James Garrow, a spokesperson for the city Health Department.

“While the city doesn’t have regulatory oversight of any hospital, nor can we compel any hospital to change their practices, we are working with each of the other hospitals together to make sure that every patient who is affected by the Hahnemann closure has a place to get care in the most frictionless way. As in everything, the devil is in the details, but we’re happy that the hospital community in Philadelphia has come together and is working to make sure that everyone is taken care of,” Garrow said in an email.

By Sarah Gantz

Sugary Snacks Campaign Controversy

James Garrow, city health department spokesperson, said efforts are being made to apologize for any hurt feelings, as well as to thank commenters for helping to clarify the difference between Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

However, Garrow said, “Nearly every comment that we’ve received has been appreciative of the underlying goal of the campaign: to fight childhood obesity.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/sugary-snacks-obesity-diabetes-parents-billboards-ads-20190723.html

By Rita Giordano

NBC10

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health apologized for “any hurt” that the campaign caused. He also stated that the campaign was focused on Type 2 diabetes rather than Type 1.

“Given that 17% of children in Philadelphia today are overweight and 22% are obese, which is a sign that they are already at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, we felt that something had to be done,” the spokesperson wrote.

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philadelphia-Billboard-Childhood-Obesity-Diabetes-Ad-Campaign-Controversy-Type-1-Type-2-513122801.html

By David Chang and Keith Jones

Fox29

Health officials say they apologize to anyone who is offended by the language on the billboards. They say the focus is on childhood obesity and its connection to diabetes.

https://www.fox29.com/news/billboard-carries-controversial-message-on-diabetes

By Dave Kinchen

First Heat-Related Death of 2019

AP

The Philadelphia Department of Health said Monday that the death of a man in his 70s in West Philadelphia on Saturday was attributed to the heat. No other details were provided.

https://www.fox29.com/news/hot-weather-cited-in-death-of-philadelphia-man

By Staff

PhillyVoice

This is the city’s first heat-related death of 2019. By comparison, during July 1993 in Philadelphia, the medical examiner’s office determined 118 deaths were heat-related, the CDC reported. And officials in Chicago reported two heat-related deaths over the weekend, bringing that city’s total to three for the year.

By Emily Rolen

CBS 3

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has confirmed a heat-related death in the city’s West Philadelphia section. A man in his 70s was found dead on Saturday.

By Staff

WHYY

In 2011, 35 people died from heat-related causes in Philadelphia, the largest number of such deaths in the last 10 years. That’s a decrease from the 1990s which saw 361 deaths over the decade, said James Garrow, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Health.

By Ximena Conde