Health Department

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.
703-246-2411 TTY 711
10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health

What We Do

As an agency of the Fairfax County Health and Human Services System, we work to protect, promote and improve health and quality of life for all who live, work and play in our community. We do this by preventing epidemics and the spread of disease, protecting the public against environmental hazards, promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors, assuring the quality and accessibility of health services, responding to natural and man-made disasters, and assisting communities in recovery. Our vision is for all Fairfax County residents to live in thriving communities where every person has the opportunity to be healthy, safe and realize his or her potential.

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Updates from the Health Department

July 9, 2024
Dengue is an illness that is caused by infection with a dengue virus. It spreads to people from mosquito bites. It is common in many tropical and sub-tropical countries in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Up to 400 million people are infected by a dengue virus each year. Many countries are reporting a higher number cases of dengue, including a record-breaking numbers of cases in many countries in the Americas, including Caribbean countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently shared an alert with healthcare providers and the public about an increased risk of dengue virus infections in travelers returning from places where dengue spreads. Most dengue cases reported in the United States (in states other than Hawaii) are in travelers who were infected elsewhere. People also can catch the virus in U.S. territories (American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and freely associated states (Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau), where dengue is common. Limited spread has been reported in Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, and California. World map highlighting areas of dengue risk. Credit: CDC Symptoms of dengue usually begin within 2 weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The most common symptom is fever with aches and pains (eye pain, muscle, joint, or bone pain), nausea, vomiting, and rash. Sometimes severe dengue can develop and result in shock (seriously low blood pressure), internal bleeding, organ failure, and death. Seek medical care if you have a fever or other dengue symptoms and live in or have traveled to an area with dengue outbreaks. Anyone who lives in or travels to an area with dengue is at risk for infection. There are ways you can prevent dengue. Before you travel, find country-specific travel information. This can help you understand health risks at your destination so you can plan ahead and pack the right clothing and gear to help you stay healthy and safe. The best way to prevent dengue is to avoid mosquito bites. If you plan to travel to an area with frequent or continuous dengue transmission, protect yourself from mosquito bites during and after your trip. Use EPA-registered repellents. Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved pants and shirts. Stay in places with air conditioning and with window/door screens or bed nets. A dengue vaccine is approved for children aged 9–16 years with laboratory-confirmed previous dengue virus infection AND who live in areas where dengue is common. The vaccine is not approved for use in U.S. travelers who are visiting places where dengue is common. Additional information Learn more about Dengue Find Travel Health Notices Increased Risk of Dengue Virus Infections in the United States See more ways to Fight the Bite Follow the Health Department for more updates about viruses and other health topics
Stable Families Thriving Futures program participants.
June 17, 2024
On June 7, high school students participating in the Public Health Youth Ambassador Program (PHYAP) as well as teens and young adults who are a part of the Stable Families Thriving Futures Program (SFTF) gathered at West Springfield High School in Springfield, VA to celebrate successfully completing their respective programs. Both programs are managed by the Fairfax County Health Department. Public Health Youth Ambassador Program graduates The PHYAP event, emceed by Guy Lambert, news director and anchor for WPGC 95.5 and host of FOX 5 Live Zone, celebrated 87 local high school students who earned certificates of completion from the Morehouse School of Medicine and George Mason’s School of Public Health for successfully completing rigorous introductory healthcare curriculums.  Student speaker Nayla Bonilla-Mendez, a senior at Justice High School, spoke about how the program has empowered her to be an advocate for health services in her community. Nayla also shared her thoughts on the program’s positive role towards influencing her decision to attend the College of William and Mary in the fall as a freshman, while focusing on public health as her major. Keynote speaker Lt. Rashmita Subedi, Public Health Analyst and Project Officer with the Office of Minority Health (OMH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), shared an equally powerful testimony documenting her journey emigrating from Nepal, the road to becoming a Lieutenant, and how each reflects the organization’s belief in programs like the PHYAP. "Our Public Health Youth Ambassador Program graduating class of 2024 embodies the premium PHYAP places on student collaboration, advanced learning, and perseverance,” said Scott Folks, Public Health Youth Ambassador Program Manager. “We're extremely proud of each and every graduate, along with their significant achievement towards a potential future in the community healthcare field." Begun as a pilot project in March 2022, the Public Health Youth Ambassador Program (PHYAP) provides underserved high school students in Fairfax County, Virginia with insights and knowledge regarding the thriving healthcare industry.  Through a unique collaboration between the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD), Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), George Mason University School of Public Health (GMU), hospital systems, non-profits, and other partner agencies, this initiative works to increase diversity within community health professionals, build generational health, and provide participants tools to enhance their post-secondary education and career opportunities. A $3.875 million Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health (OMH) grant, focused on mitigating COVID-19 pandemic effects through capacity-building, provided the project’s seed money.  PHYAP engages a suite of stellar partners including Healthy Minds Fairfax and Inova Healthy Systems to provide a top-notch experience, while primarily serving students from Fairfax County’s East Central Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA), which includes Annandale, West Falls Church, and Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia. Stable Families Thriving Futures Program graduates The second event celebrated 40 students who recently completed the SFTF program. The SFTF program aims to improve immediate and long-term health, educational employment, and financial outcomes for pregnant and parenting teens and young adults aged 14 to 25 in Fairfax County. A supporter of the program, U.S. Congressman Gerry Connelly, U.S. representative for Virginia’s 11th Congressional district, spoke about how the program aims to foster responsible parenting while making progress towards their own educational and employment goals. “The SFTF program has received glowing reviews from its participants, highlighting its profound impact on their lives,” said Blanca Vasques, Stable Families Thriving Futures Project Manager. “One mom, who had only completed education up to the second grade, felt a renewed sense of pride and motivation after earning her certificate, inspiring her to seize the numerous opportunities available to her. Another mom cherished the graduation ceremony, where a picture of her and her baby symbolized her pride and achievement, something she hopes will make her son proud as well. The program has also helped mothers overcome negative self-perceptions, with one participant learning the importance of positive self-view for herself and her children, and now she's eager to utilize the resources and spread the word. Additionally, another mom expressed how the program reshaped her perspective on family relationships and their impact on children, while also providing valuable insights into employment opportunities, enhancing her preparedness for the workforce and teamwork skills.” Sayly Ketevong, Stable Families Thriving Futures Lead Facilitator, added “Stable Families, Thriving Futures is a program that gives each participant the opportunity to achieve their goals and realize their potential, becoming better individuals and role models for their children.” The Stable Families Thriving Futures program focuses on improving the immediate and long-term health, educational, employment, and financial outcomes of pregnant and parenting teens and young adults in Fairfax County. The program implements a multifaceted peer group education model along with whole-family case management support. SFTF engages pregnant and parenting teens and young adults with members of their households to build capacity for improved health outcomes and whole-family thriving. The program’s education model utilizes evidence-based experiential learning curricula in responsible parenting, evidence-informed co-parenting, trauma and resiliency, health literacy, and financial capability curricula. The program pairs participants and their families with intensive case management providing referrals to local resources, including access to support maternal and child health, affordable housing, food access and nutrition support, childcare, and transportation, as well as education, job skills and employment support, mental health and substance abuse services, and domestic violence prevention support. See event photos of the Public Health Youth Ambassadors and Stable Families Thriving Futures program participants.
A group of smiling children lean out a school bus a wave
June 12, 2024
As the 2023-24 school year ends and summer begins, it’s a great time for children to get up to date on their immunizations. Parents and caregivers are urged to make an appointment for their child now with their health care provider to avoid the last-minute rush before the 2024-25 school year starts. Immunizations are the most effective way to protect your child from serious illness and prevent them from missing school and other activities because they are sick. By ensuring your child is vaccinated, you not only protect them but also stop the spread of illness in schools and communities. Parents of students entering kindergarten, 7th grade, and 12th grade should be aware of the Virginia immunization requirements. Vaccines are available in our community. Find an immunization location that works for you. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider. We encourage you to reach out to your healthcare provider to ensure your child is up to date on their immunizations. Many providers require an appointment, don't delay, schedule it today. In addition to ensuring immunizations are up to date, families are encouraged to catch-up on routine medical care. This includes physicals, dental appointments, vision and hearing & screenings, routine vaccinations, and more. Visit a Health Department Clinic. The Fairfax County Health Department offers immunizations to all Fairfax County students as well those who are behind on their scheduled immunizations, need a booster, and to people who are new to country. In addition to regular clinic hours, the Health Department is offering several extended hours clinics to ensure children receive the immunizations they need for school. These clinics are open to all Fairfax County students who need immunizations, regardless of if they have had vaccines in the past, are new to the country, or need a follow-up to be up to date. Call today! Appointments are limited and required. Schedule your appointment by calling 703-246-7100. See extended hours clinics schedule. Find a community clinic. Inova Cares Clinic for Families provides childhood immunizations for patients who qualify for Medicaid, FAMIS, Inova’s Financial Assistance Program, or are uninsured. Learn more. HealthWorks for Northern Virginia and Neighborhood Health provide healthcare, including vaccinations, for children, families, and individuals, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Don’t wait to schedule your appointment. Make sure your children are up to date on their immunizations as soon as possible to help them have healthy school year. Visit our website to see childhood and required school immunizations and the recommended vaccine schedule.
A chicken walks up the ramp into its coop
June 4, 2024
Avian influenza, or bird flu, is a disease caused by an influenza (flu) A virus, such as H5N1. Bird flu is contagious and infects poultry (e.g., chickens, turkey, ducks) and other wild birds. H5N1 bird flu is widespread in bird populations and has caused the deaths of millions of birds in the United States. This same H5N1 virus also been identified as recently infecting dairy cattle herds in 9 states. At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the risk of H5N1 bird flu infection for the general public who do not have exposure to infected animals remains low. There have been no reported H5N1 bird flu infections in dairy cows or people in Virginia. Human bird flu infections are rare, but possible. Bird flu can spread to humans from infected animals when enough virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth or is inhaled. Recently there have been three human cases associated with an ongoing multistate outbreak in U.S. dairy cows (one additional case was identified in 2022 with no links to cows). To date, there has been no evidence of person-to-person spread of H5N1. However, people with close, long, unprotected contact with infected animals, or environments contaminated by infected animals are at higher risk of getting infected. So far, such infections have been rare. Information for Backyard Flock Owners Backyard poultry can carry germs that can make you sick. Follow general guidance keep you and your backyard flock healthy. Watch this video about keeping your flock healthy. Bird flu can spread quickly in your flock. Prevent contact with wild birds. Know the signs of bird flu and have a plan for what to do if your birds get sick. And always wash your hands with soap and water before and right after handling eggs, chickens, or anything in their environment. Domesticated poultry can get infected with bird flu viruses through direct contact with infected waterfowl or other infected poultry, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. See this infographic about how backyard poultry can spread bird flu to people (Spanish version). According to the CDC, infected birds may show one or more of the following signs: Sudden death without prior illness Lack of energy and appetite Decreased egg production or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs Swelling of head, comb, eyelid, wattles, and hocks Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs Nasal discharge, coughing, and sneezing Incoordination Diarrhea. An occasional unexplained bird death is normal. Several dead or ill birds in your flock is not normal. If there is no obvious cause of death and you see any sign of illness in your birds, take steps to protect yourself: Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when around sick or dead birds. Don’t touch sick or dead birds, their feces, litter, or any surface or water source that might be contaminated with their saliva, feces, or any other bodily fluids without wearing PPE. Learn more about recommended PPE and safe PPE removal. Wash your hands with soap and water after touching birds. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes after contact with birds or potentially contaminated surfaces and materials until you have washed your hands well. As best as possible avoid stirring up dust, bird waste, and feathers when cleaning to prevent virus from spreading into the air. See this checklist for cleaning. Immediately report unusual deaths or multiple sick birds to State Veterinarian’s Office at 804-692-0601 or at or the U.S. Department of Agriculture by calling 1-866-536-7593. Additionally, you should check yourself for symptoms for 10 days after the last day of exposure to potentially infected birds or contaminated materials. See a healthcare provider if you become ill (even if symptoms are mild) after contact with sick birds and let them know before your visit of your recent exposure and symptoms. Stay away from other people and do not go to work or school until you have been evaluated. See more detailed information from the CDC about protecting yourself from Bird Flu. See more information and resources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture about protecting your flock. Additional Information Everyone can take steps to protect themselves from bird flu. Avoid direct contact with wild birds. Observe them only from a distance, if possible. Avoid touching sick or dead animals and surfaces that may have been contaminated with their feces. Learn what to do if you find dead birds. Wash your hands and surfaces thoroughly before and after handling poultry, meat, and eggs. Drink pasteurized milk, not raw milk/milk products. Cook poultry, meat, and eggs to the right internal temperature to kill bacteria and viruses, including H5N1 viruses. Get your yearly flu vaccine to reduce the risk of human influenza infection and of human and bird flu infections occurring together. For the information on the most recent bird flu developments in the U.S., please visit the CDC Current Situation Summary page or the VDH Novel and Variant Influenza (Flu) A Viruses page. Visit our web page and follow us on social media for updates on bird flu as they are available and other health topics.

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About the Health & Human Services System

This agency is a part of the Fairfax County Health & Human Services System (HHS). The HHS System is a network of county agencies and community partners that support the well-being of all who live, work and play in Fairfax County.

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