Public Health

August 23, 2013
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reporting four new West Nile cases this week, bringing this year's total number of cases to 13. This week’s new infections include two cases of neuroinvasive disease, both from Ouachita Parish, and two asymptomatic cases, one each from Ouachita and Vernon parishes.
August 16, 2013
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reporting one new West Nile case this week, bringing this year's total number of cases to nine. This week’s new infection is a neuroinvasive disease case from Ouachita Parish.
August 15, 2013
This week, the Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Public Health awarded $351,200 to the Southeast Grant Water System through the State's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWRLF). The loan will help the system make repairs and improvements to the community’s drinking water system.
August 14, 2013
This month, the Department of Health and Hospitals' (DHH) Office of Public Health awarded $4.8 million to the City of Leesville through the State's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWRLF). The loan will help the system improve and update the community's drinking water system.
August 13, 2013
This month, the Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Public Health awarded $1.5 million to the Town of Gramercy through the State's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWRLF). The loan will help the system improve and update the community's drinking water system. Assistant Secretary for Public Health, J.T. Lane said it's imperative that all Louisiana Residents have access to safe drinking water. "This program gives local communities a source of dependable and affordable financing to bring their water treatment facilities up to the latest and most modern technology that keeps their residents safe and healthy." "We're excited about the opportunity to bring our water system into the 21st century with upgrades that promise to improve water service, while saving taxpayers thousands of dollars," said Mayor Terry Borne. The Town of Gramercy will use the money for many improvements to the town's aging water system including a new transfer/backwash pumping station, new sludge pumps, new filter media and drains, an air backwash system, a new control system, a canopy for the filters and pipe gallery, replacement of old piping and valves, a new operations building at the water treatment plant and painting of the water system's existing structures. The planned improvements will provide adequate space for operators to monitor and control the plant, perform plant water quality testing, and record and maintain plant records, which will extend the life of the existing treatment plant for an additional 20 years. Congress established State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Programs in 1996 as part of the amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is jointly funded by an annual grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (80 percent) and the individual participating states (20 percent). In Louisiana, it is administered by DHH's Office of Public Health. The Drinking Water Capitalization Grant allowed for additional subsidy in the form of principal forgiveness of up to 30 percent of the loan principal, with a cap of $1,125,000 of principal forgiveness per project. Through this special provision, the DWRLF is providing principal forgiveness in the amount of $450,000. Loans made through this program are low interest and have a maximum 20-year repayment period. Both public and privately-owned community and nonprofit, non-community water systems are eligible to apply for loans. Once a loan is approved, water systems can use the funds to make their improvements. As the systems pay back the loans, the principal and interest are used to make more money available for other communities that have drinking water needs. All loan projects are approved based upon a priority ranking system. Among other factors, projects that address the most serious risks to human health and those that ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act are given the highest priority. "These improvements assist the systems in complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act and protecting public health," said Jennifer Wilson, program manager for the State's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund. For more information about the program, contact Wilson at DHH's Office of Public Health, 225-342-7499. In the photo above, pictured from left to right: Dan McDonald, Drinking Water Revolvoing Loan Fund Program Engineer; Jake Causey, OPH Chief Engineer; Rubenstein Mitchell-Clark, Gramercy Council Member; Terry Borne, Mayor of Gramercy; Betty Coleman, Gramercy Council Member; and Jennifer Wilson, Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Program Manager.
August 09, 2013
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reporting seven new West Nile cases this week, bringing this year’s total number of cases to eight. At this time last year, the state had 53 cases of West Nile virus. The state may be off to a slow start this West Nile season, but health officials warn residents not to let their guard down.
August 06, 2013
This week, much of Louisiana is under a heat advisory. Parts of the state are seeing temperatures in the high 90s with heat indexes over 100 degrees. The heat, coupled with high humidity, can cause potentially deadly heat-related illnesses. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Children and Family Services encourage residents to take simple precautions to ensure their safety in the summer heat:
August 06, 2013
The Office of Public Health, in accordance with Act 292 of the 2013 Legislative Session, gives notice that the first meeting for Louisiana Standards for Water Works Construction, Operation, and Maintenance Committee has been rescheduled and will now be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, in Room 118 of the Bienville Building, 628 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge, LA.
August 01, 2013
This week the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) confirmed two cases of cyclospora in Louisiana, one in Bienville Parish and one in Terrebonne Parish.
July 23, 2013
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has reported the state's first case of West Nile virus in a human in 2013. The case was confirmed July 22nd in Caldwell Parish and was determined to be a neuroinvasive disease.