Public Health Information
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Data
For information on testing, vaccination, or booster shots, or to learn more about how Beebe is handling COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center. If you plan to visit a Beebe facility, please make sure you are familiar with our current visitor guidelines.
Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to prevent influenza. Beebe Healthcare hosts several free flu clinics throughout the fall and winter months.
There have been multiple reported cases of Monkeypox in Delaware as of July 2022. Since the first positive case in the U.S., Beebe Healthcare has prepared to care for the community members if needed. Monkeypox is a rare disease and can cause a rash and flu-like symptoms. There is not a serious public health threat at this time. If you have concerns or think you have been exposed, please contact your primary care provider. Walk-In Care is also an option for those without a primary care provider. The emergency department should be reserved for emergency care only. If you feel like you are in a life-threatening situation, dial 911.
For the most current information about vaccination at Beebe, please call our Infectious Disease Department. The Delaware Division of Public Health can provide updates on the number of cases and latest information in Delaware. Information is available concerning symptoms, transmission, prevention, and treatment.
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms including fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and in infants, fussiness and poor feeding. It then progresses to more severe symptoms such as fast or short breathing or wheezing, and in infants and young children, grunting noises when breathing, chest caving in during breathing, and skin turning purple or blue due to lack of oxygen. While persons of any age can develop RSV, it is most common in children under age 2 and can be severe, especially for infants and older adults. Most people will recover in one to two weeks.
There is currently no vaccine for RSV. Primary methods of prevention include washing your hands, wearing a mask, and staying home if you are sick.
For the most current information, visit the RSV page on the CDC website.
Some Questions & Answers:
Q: What are the symptoms of Zika?
A: The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. About one in five people infected with Zika will get sick.
Q: How is Zika transmitted?
A: Zika is primarily transmitted through
mosquito bite when the mosquito bites a person already infected with the virus and then bites someone else. There is also growing evidence that men can transmit the virus to women during sexual activity. There is no evidence that Zika can be spread through casual contact like kissing, hugging, etc. The virus can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. We do not know how often Zika is transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
Q: Who is at risk of being infected?
A: Anyone who is living in, or traveling to, an area where Zika virus transmission is currently occuring or women who have male sexual partners who have traveled to these areas.
Via Delaware Division of Public Health: Zika is generally transmitted through bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The mosquito that most commonly transmits Zika (Aedes aegypti), as well as dengue and chikungunya, is very rare in Delaware. However, in Delaware we do have another Aedes species of concern for possible transmission of Zika, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. Local Zika transmission via a mosquito is possible once mosquito season starts but it depends on a variety of factors. We are working with DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section to prepare for that possibility.
Most people who are infected with Zika do not develop symptoms. About one in five people infected with the virus develop the disease, and symptoms are generally mild. Anyone who lives or travels in the impacted areas can be infected. The most common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. It is not yet known how often Zika is transmitted from mother to baby. In very rare cases, there have been documented cases of sexual transmission from male to female.
The most serious threat linked to Zika is serious birth defects. While it generally presents as a mild illness, there have been reports of serious birth defects to infants whose mother contracted the virus while pregnant. Microcephaly (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/microcephaly.html), a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age, and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers are now being linked to the virus.
As a result, the Division of Public Health (DPH) is focusing its messaging and awareness on preventing exposure to pregnant women and their partners.
If you are pregnant and have traveled outside the country or believe you may have contracted the Zika virus, please talk to your physician as soon as possible. Here is a Q&A about Zika for pregnant women.
Additional Zika Information Materials include:
• DPH Zika e-newsletter: general info and important links
• Flyer targeting pregnant women for posting in medical/other locations (English)
• Flyer targeting pregnant women for posting in medical/other locations (Spanish; en espanol)
You may also find the DPH Zika webpage helpful: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/zika.html
Lyme Disease & Tick-borne Illnesses
According to the World Health Organization: Lyme disease (Lyme Borreliosis) is caused by Borrelia bacteria and is transmitted through the bite of infected deer ticks (of the Ixodes species). Many species of mammals can be infected and rodents and deer act as important reservoirs.
The first recognized outbreak of this disease occurred in Connecticut, United States, in 1975. The current burden is estimated at 7.9 cases per 100 000 people in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Delaware Division of Public Health says in Delaware, the most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected deer ticks. There were 418 Lyme disease cases in Delaware in 2014. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is diagnosed much less frequently in the First State with only 24 cases in 2014. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include a “bull’s-eye” rash (seen in approximately half of Lyme disease cases in Delaware), fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint aches. Chronic joint, heart, and neurological problems may occur. It usually takes 24 to 36 hours of attachment before a tick transmits a disease.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health: Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and several other diseases that cause brain inflammation (encephalitis) and can be fatal to humans and animals. Approximately 80 percent of human WNV infections are mild and cause no apparent symptoms. The other 20 percent develop a mild illness (West Nile fever), which includes fever, body and muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. A small percentage of patients, usually the elderly, develop severe neurological disease that results in meningitis or encephalitis.
Key facts (World Health Organization):
- West Nile virus can cause a fatal neurological disease in humans.
- However, approximately 80% of people who are infected will not show any symptoms.
- West Nile virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
- The virus can cause severe disease and death in horses.
- Vaccines are available for use in horses but not yet available for people.
- Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus.
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses. Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that is then touched by others. Learn more from the CDC here.