Health Department

Fairfax County, Virginia

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Our administration office is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at our 10777 Main Street location in Fairfax.

703-246-2411 | TTY 711

10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Health

Fairfax County Health Department logo

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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Get the latest health alerts and advisories and communicable disease and epidemiology news from the Health Department.

En Español

Community Health Specialist Carla Paredes talks summer safety on La Voz del Condado de Fairfax. Listen for insect bite prevention and sun safety tips.

Health Department News

August 16, 2018
Fairfax County Health Department has confirmed rabies in a cat located in the 7800 block of O’Dell Street in the Springfield area. The cat attacked three people on Wednesday, August 15. Fairfax County Animal Protection Police were able to trap the animal and the Fairfax County Public Health Laboratory conducted the rabies testing this morning and it was positive.  The cat is described as an orange-colored male tabby without a collar. The cat was aggressive but moved with a slow gait. During the time it was sick, the cat may have had contact with other people or pets. If you, someone you know, or a pet touched or was bitten or scratched by the animal between August 6 and August 15, you are urged to call the Fairfax County Health Department Rabies Program at 703-246-2433, TTY 711. Rabies is a serious disease caused by a virus that can infect wildlife, particularly foxes, racoons, skunks and bats, and domestic animals, such as dogs and cats. The rabies virus is found in the saliva, brain and spinal tissue of an infected animal. People get rabies when they are bitten or scratched by an animal that is sick with the disease. The virus can also be passed along when an infected animals’ saliva or central nervous tissue enters an open wound, mouth, nose or eyes of another mammal.  To date, 16 animals have been diagnosed with rabies in Fairfax County in 2018. None of those animals was found in this area of the county. Animals with rabies may act normally during the early stages of the disease, making it difficult to know if the animal is infected. As the disease progresses, animals often show changes in behavior. For example, wild animals may act very docile and domestic animals may become aggressive. Rabid animals may stagger, drool or become paralyzed. Protect yourself and your family from rabies: stay away from wild animals and be sure pets are vaccinated against rabies every year. Remember, if the animal is not your own, leave it alone! Here are other important steps to protect yourself and your pets from rabies: Do not allow your pets to roam unattended. Do not adopt or feed wild or stray animals.  Seal openings in your house so that wildlife cannot enter. Report animal bites, animals that are acting strangely (including domestic animals), or altercations between wild and domestic animals to Fairfax County’s Animal Protection Police at 703-691-2131, TTY 711. If bitten or scratched by an animal that might have rabies, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention right away. When vaccinations are provided in time and appropriately, rabies treatment is 100 percent effective in preventing the disease. But if not treated, rabies is 100 percent fatal.  More information about rabies can be found at on the Health Department’s website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/rabies.

Four Bright Horizons staff members accept a certificate of recognition from Christine Carlock

August 9, 2018
Children and adults need vaccines to stay healthy throughout their lifespan To celebrate the importance of immunizations for people of all ages — and to remind parents to get their children up to date on their shots as they go back to school — the Fairfax County Health Department is presenting certificates of recognition to three of its community partners for National Immunization Awareness Month. Staff from Bright Horizons accept a certificate of recognition from Public Health Nurse Christine Carlock Bright Horizons at Boone Boulevard is being recognized for their commitment to assuring infants attending the preschool and child care center are in compliance with state immunization requirements. Fairfax Pediatric Associates is being recognized for its diligence in immunizing children and young people in its practice from vaccine-preventable diseases, including protecting adolescents from meningitis and preventable forms of cancer. Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University is being recognized for promoting and coordinating flu vaccination to protect the health of older adults who participate in its educational and cultural programs. We congratulate these providers for their contributions to community health, and to all those involved in promoting vaccinations for every stage of life, said Christine Carlock, RN, the Health Department’s Immunization Action Plan Coordinator. Staff from Fairfax Pediatrics Associates posing with their certificate of recognition National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual opportunity in August to highlight the important role vaccines play in preventing serious diseases for people of all ages. Today’s childhood vaccines protect against potentially life-threatening illnesses, including polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox. Preteens and teens also need vaccines like HPV, which protects them against certain types of cancer later in life. Adults need other vaccines, depending on their age, occupation, travel and medical conditions. And everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year. When people are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for diseases and can also spread diseases to others in their community — including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.  Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect you and others in the community from infectious diseases, Carlock said. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your doctor or healthcare provider to find out what vaccines your family needs. The Health Department offers school-required immunizations for free at its five clinics in Fairfax County. Vaccines for adults and for foreign travel are available too for a fee. For faster service and shorter wait times, please call for an appointment. Find clinic locations, hours of operation and phone numbers at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health.

Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito on a human finger

August 2, 2018
Coincides with a surge in West Nile Virus activity within the mosquito population The Fairfax County Health Department has identified the first reported human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) disease in 2018. The patient, an adult resident of the Northeastern part of the county, was hospitalized and is recovering from the illness. This case coincides with a large increase in WNV infected mosquitoes across the county; an increase that has occurred earlier this summer compared with previous years. In recent years, when one human case occurs in an area, other cases often follow in the same part of the county. West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, Director of Epidemiology and Population Health. With high levels of WNV in mosquitoes and the recent rains leading to even more mosquitoes, it’s important for residents of Fairfax County to take precautions to protect themselves and their families. The best way to avoid mosquito bites is to: Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, making sure to follow label instructions. Wear long pants and long sleeves to cover exposed skin. Avoid areas where mosquitoes are especially common during peak biting times, particularly at dawn and dusk. In addition to preventing mosquito bites, everyone should take steps to reduce breeding of mosquitoes on their property and in their community, said Pieter Sheehan, Director of Environmental Health. This includes tipping and tossing anything that holds water including old tires, buckets, planters, toys, birdbaths, flowerpots, tarps, trash containers, downspout extensions and other containers. If you cannot get rid of the standing water, put larvicide, such as Mosquito Dunks, in the water to kill developing mosquitoes. Be sure to read the instructions on the label. You may request a mosquito inspection of your yard from the Health Department’s Disease Carrying Insects Program at 703-246-8931, TTY 711. WNV can affect a person’s nervous system. Many people get a mild form, experiencing fever, headache and muscle aches that can last days to weeks. While most people make a full recovery, severe cases of WNV can lead to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death. Recovery from severe WNV can take months or years. People at highest risk for serious WNV disease are adults 50-years-old or older and those whose immunity is suppressed because of a disease such as cancer or diabetes. Anyone experiencing symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion and lethargy should seek medical attention right away. The Health Department uses an integrated approach to mosquito management to minimize the risk of human disease, including: Educating the public about ways to reduce their risk of WNV. Setting traps to collect, identify and test adult mosquitoes throughout the county from May through October. Investigating human cases of mosquito-borne disease. Responding to requests from homeowners for help with mosquitoes on their property. Performing routine mosquito inspections and treatments of stormwater ponds throughout the county. Conducting targeted adult mosquito control activities, such as applying insecticides, to protect public health. For more information on mosquito bite prevention, or to report a mosquito problem, visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/fightthebite, call 703-246-8931, TTY 711, or email fightthebite@fairfaxcounty.gov.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sep

10

7:30PM, The HCAB meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the…

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.